Welcome to the first ‘Spider’s Web’ where Craig ‘Spider’ Richards and I will review, preview and talk over all the hottest boxing topics. Today we look at last weekend’s bouts and preview this Saturday’s Cardiff show…

Joe Joyce took on a mountain of a task last Friday in the shape of Ian Lewison. A tough man who has a huge heart and is a warrior inside the ring. I thought it was a good debut by the Juggernaut winning every round without really stepping up the gears and stopping his battered, disheartened opponent.

“It was definitely a hard opponent to take for a debut, especially in a ten rounder you never get to see anyone do that. He got the job done so that was good on him.”

The ambition is clear to see when David Haye and the Joyce team are targeting a shot at either the British title or the Commonwealth title in only Joe’s second fight.

“The fights are always going to be risky for him or it’s going to be risky for them because he’s stepping up and when you’re stepping up no one is really going to want to roll the dice to lose to someone in their second fight. At the same time, he (Joyce)
won’t want to step up so much where he could fall short so early in his career. It will be hard to match him in his next fight.”

Fast tracking Joyce is certainly a big gamble, could it be due to Joyce’s age that he is having to be fast-tracked to have any hope of succeeding as a World champion.

“I don’t think there is ever a too late situation. It depends on the individual and the wear and tear the individual may have. Sometimes people are young but they have been through such a long amateur career there’s nothing left for them in the pro’s they’ve left it all in the amateurs. Sometimes people can be older and not much wear and tear, come into the pro game and be fresh. It all depends on the individual I would say.”

Fast-forward to Saturday night and let’s take you back to Belfast. Home of Ryan Burnett, now unified bantamweight World champion in a tough fought battle with ex-stable mate Zhanat Zhakiyanov. Craig was on the undercard of that show and was ringside for this war.

“Tremendous fight, he dug deep and he was fighting a tough opponent and he came out the other side with the victory to unify. It was brilliant for him. I did think it was quite close but he did enough, it was a very close fight but I do think Burnett won it, of course so the win for me was the right decision. Boxing’s a very opinionated sport, I can’t say the scorecards were right but I can say the decision went the right way.”

Time to preview this weekend’s big show!

Spider has been given a golden opportunity on the undercard in Cardiff, a shot at the Lord Lonsdale belt against Light-Heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni in only his second fight at the weight.

“Eddie presented it to me over the weekend and I said okay, yeah we will go for it. It’s my natural weight. I wasn’t struggling to make weight but I wasn’t getting the best out of myself. I got ill before both my last two fights so my last fight I got a really bad sinus infection getting the weight down and the same with the Higgins fight I had a chest infection as I was making weight so in my last two fights I was fighting sick and I lost a bit of my energy and punch power. As we were going into camp for this fight we realised the same thing happened as we were dropping the weight and that’s when we decided we won’t drop the weight no more. (Saturday)  I was a lot more powerful and a lot more comfortable. I’m more of my natural weight now.”

We spoke about some of the other fights on the bill, in particular the heavyweight action on show; first up the ‘Bodysnatcher’ Dillian Whyte faces a stern test in the ‘Nordic Nightmare’ Robert Helenius.

“It’s a very good fight, I don’t know too much about Helenius but I know he’s a good fighter. It puts him (Whyte) in good stead if he gets a victory for the future fights he is looking for because most of the opponents he’s looking for are around that size for after this fight so become victorious it will be good preparation for future fights.”

Now for the big one, Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam. We all know it was scheduled for Kubrat Pulev who was mandated by the IBF but, that fell through due to injury now steps in IBF #3 Takam. Is it still a good, competitive fight?

“Of course it is (a good fight), it’s two heavyweights and he’s (Takam) coming to have a go isn’t he? He isn’t coming to lie down so it’s going to be competitive and he’s going to go for it. He’s more aggressive than Pulev, that makes it more in Anthony’s favour but it will be a good fight.”

Everyone at FightTalk.net wishes Craig all the best in his fight and myself and Craig will be back for the second instalment of Spider’s Web after Craig’s fight.

Written by James Lupton.