By: Sean Crose
He defeated former world title challenger Bryant Jennings in 2019 by unanimous decision. It was the one and only time any of undefeated heavyweight Joe Joyce’s fights went the distance. The Londoner was last seen in October battling former world titlist Joseph Parker in a scheduled 12 rounder. The fight ended in the 11th, courtesy of a left hand Joyce hook. Now the 15-0 rising heavyweight is making it clear that he wants to face the division’s biggest names. That means the Londoner is eyeing the likes of Tyson Fury & Oleksandr Usyk. What’s more, he wants to face one of the two current heavyweight titlists by summer – a time when one of the two men may well be the undisputed champion of the world.
“I’m planning to have a fight in March,” Sky Sports quotes Joyce as saying, “while all the others are taking a fight.” Sure enough, WBC and lineal titlist Fury may indeed be facing WBA, IBF and WBO titlist Usyk in the early portion of next year, making room for a potential (“potential” being the operative word here) fight between Joyce and one of the two men in the summer. “For the summer one (I) go for a big one, like Usyk or Fury,” he said to Sky Sports. “I’ll be ready because I’ll have had one at the beginning of the year to get me going.”
Of course, provided Fury and Usyk actually fight there may indeed be a rematch clause. It’s doubtful, however, that Joyce will sit on the sidelines until the smoke clears. “I don’t understand why people do that,” the fighter said to Sky Sports, referring to those fighters who like to wait for a big fight to come to be. “It makes them rusty for when they do get the shot and also their skills as well, you always want to keep on improving your skills and learning and growing as a fighter and correcting any mistakes, and getting in these exciting fights for the fans.”
Joyce and Fury have actually worked together before. What’s more, they worked together in notorious Big Bear, California while Fury was training for his inaugural match with then WBC titlist Deontay Wilder. “It’s tough in Big Bear…you have to be a tough man to be training there,” said Joyce. “You do long rounds and runs every morning, you do lots of ab work, it really trains you to be a beast, a tank.” He’ll need quite an arsenal if he wishes to emerge victorious against the likes of Fury and Usyk. There’s no doubt, however, that Joyce at the very least is armed with supreme confidence.
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