Joyce taking quick route towards super heavyweight title

Baku, June 23, AZERTAC

British superheavyweight (+91kg ) Joe Joyce is a man in a hurry to win a gold medal after recording his second successive first round victory.

He took just 2 minutes 17 seconds to beat Lithuanian Mantas Valavicius in his quarter-final bout - even quicker than his previous victory over Alexei Zavatin of Moldova, which took 2 minutes 58 seconds.

So in just over five minutes, the British giant is guaranteed at least a medal as he lines up a semi-final clash with Frenchman Tony Yoka, who was an impressive quarter-final winner against Ireland's Dean Gardiner.

Joyce puts his rapid win ratio down to preparation. "I saw the opening so I went in," he said. "I wasn't going for the stoppage, but I was relaxed and ready to go to work. He was just a bit unprepared for me.

"It was just great preparation, to get warmed up properly before the bout. I'm focused and I'm sharp to perform."

On the other side of the super heavyweight draw, the boxer to beat is local Mahammadrasul Majidov, who had to put in a strong effort to overcome Turkish challenger Ali Demerezen.

In the semi-finals, no.1 seed Majidov is set to take on no.4 seed Gasan Gimbatov of Russia, who took out Belarusian Yan Sudzilouski on points.

In the men's light heavyweight (81kg) division, local hero Teymur Mammadov skillfully outboxed military world champion Peter Mullenberg of the Netherlands.

While the slick Mammadov danced around the ring, Mullenberg looked for a single punch to end the fight but could not deliver it.

Mullenberg accused his opponent of "running away" from him.

Mammadov saw it differently: "My opponent was tough enough. He used pressure attacks on me, but I dominated him over three rounds. My tactics were right, so I won."

Mammadov now faces battle-hardened Pavel Silyagin of Russia in the semi-final.

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