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Joe Joyce makes winning return to the ring with stoppage victory over Kash Ali

Joe Joyce made a winning return to the ring when he stopped Kash Ali in the closing round of an all-British heavyweight clash at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham.

‘The Juggernaut’ had suffered back-to-back stoppage defeats by Zhilei Zhang in 2023, which saw him lose the the WBO interim title, and was looking to produce a performance to start back on the road towards contention for a world title shot.

Joyce, a Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist and who will be 39 in September, had weighed in at almost 20-and-a-half stone, but looked short of confidence during the early exchanges.

It was not until the seventh round that Joyce started to find his range against Rotherham heavyweight Ali, a former IBF European champion, who served a six-month ban four years ago after being disqualified for biting David Price.

Ali had never previously been stopped in his 23 fights, but had been restricted to just two since 2021 because of injury

The 32-year-old, who had a cut mouth, bravely battled on through until the final 30 seconds of the 10th round when Joyce landed a crisp right jab which put Ali on the canvas and he was counted out.

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