World-rated heavyweight Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce 10-0 (9) overcame a tough challenge from Bryant ‘By-By’ Jennings 24-4 (14) to earn a 12-round unanimous decision victory at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night.
The Olympic silver medallist was taken the distance for the first time in his two-year pro career by the 34-year-old American.
The fight was a solid step up for Joyce, but it was Jennings who drew first blood with huge body shot in the opening frame that clearly hurt the local fighter.
Joyce, 33, worked his way into the fight with his pressure and high punch output, but by the middle rounds the pace dropped off as Jennings picked off Joyce with his superior hand speed and accuracy.
Jennings was docked a point in the 10th round for a low blow and finished the fight strongly in the 12th round of what was a largely uninspiring contest.
By the time the final bell rang the crowd appeared underwhelmed. Joyce was announced the winner by scores of 118-109, 117-110 and 115-112.
After the fight Joyce admitted it was a challenging fight for him.
“It was very hard, he caught me with a very good body shot early on, I wasn’t ready for it,” he said.
“Big respect to Bryant Jennings, he’s a tough, tough fighter, very experienced and he really tested me.
“I’m used to getting them out of there earlier, it’s a bit of a mistake.
“I used my experience and my toughness to pull through.
“That’s what these kind of fights are good for, to teach you a lesson.”