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WHETHER it’s Daniel Dubois or a European title shot in July, Joe Joyce could ascend the heavyweight rankings quickly. Victory could well get him a bout with Manuel Charr for the WBA regular title, a useful bargaining chip for snaring a shot at one of the big three heavyweights; Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.
Joyce was astonished with Jarrell Miller drug test failings that ruled him out of challenging Joshua at Madison Square Garden. “It’s crazy. It’s nonsense,” he said. “What was he thinking? I don’t know if it was fear or what was going through his head. I don’t think if he will get a shot like that again – or even if he will box again.”
Joyce though would eagerly step in to fight Joshua as soon as June 1. He can’t believe Luis Ortiz isn’t leaping at the chance. “I mean, what did he get in his last fight? There’s $7 million on the table – I’m sure you might take that fight,” Joe said. “It’s a great opportunity, three belts on the line, decent purse. It’s what I’m in boxing for to get them opportunities and to compete against the very best.”
He believes Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, ought to consider him a viable candidate. “I mean perhaps because it’s in America that you know Eddie wanted a American opponent but I guess I’ve boxed in America so I mean I was putting my name forward, they were looking for heavyweights I put my name out there.
“I’ve got the WBA Gold title, the Commonwealth. Some of the other names mentioned haven’t done what I’ve done, like [Andy] Ruiz for instance. I beat Joe Hanks, who was his best win, in shorter time.”
He knows Joshua better than almost anyone, after sparring hundreds of rounds with him over the years at the GB gym in Sheffield. “We had loads of spars. I think I’ve learned more since then, he’s probably still learning and learned more so it’ll be a great fight at some stage,” Joyce said. “I know his strengths and his weaknesses and stuff like that and what I have to do.
“It’s always there. I thought it was competitive on the GB set up. Obviously he qualified first and got on the squad first, I feel like I was always playing catch up. I guess [I am] again.”
But the Olympic silver medallist notes that as well as Joshua, “I’ve got three options. Tyson Fury the lineal, Wilder with the WBC.”
Signing a promotional deal with Frank Warren could well smooth the path to Joyce getting a Fury fight. “I think Joshua is more rounded. Wilder with the power and Fury with the boxing ability and the elusiveness. I think Joshua has got the more stand up, more straightforward style,” Joyce said. “I think he’s got quite a good defence with his guard up there and he’s got quite quick hands and a massive amount of power as well.
“I think he’s a good guy, a cool guy, I have respect for him. But at the end of the day, it’s a sport and, you know, he’s got what I want.
“It’s about getting it.”