Joe Joyce names Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua on five-fight wish list
EXCLUSIVE: Joe Joyce outlines his five-fight wish list as he plots bouts against Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury… with Joseph Parker the immediate target following what he vows to be a ‘spectacular’ KO win against Christian Hammer on Saturday
- Joe Joyce has named his five-fight wish list ahead of his return to the ring
- The ‘Juggernaut’ takes on journeyman Christian Hammer at Wembley Arena
- Joyce wants Joseph Parker next in September after their initial date fell through
- The 36-year-old also wants fights against Dillian Whyte and Tyson Fury to follow
- Last on Joyce’s wish list is the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua
At 36 and with an insatiable hunger for titles, Joe Joyce is desperate to take his career to the next level. And with that, the ‘Juggernaut’ has set out a five-fight wish list which would see him take on the division’s best in the coming months.
Joyce has picked up impressive victories over Carlos Takam and, more notably, now WBA ‘regular’ champion Daniel Dubois in his 13 unbeaten outings as a professional, and the granite-chinned heavyweight now arguably stakes a claim for the title of ‘best of the rest’ in a division currently topped by three protagonists.
He intended to put that title to the test in an intriguing match-up against former world champion Joseph Parker on July 2, before the fight fell through due to what Joyce describes as a ‘BS excuse’: Parker’s trainer, Andy Lee, was unavailable, with his wife set to give birth around the time of the bout.
Joe Joyce has outlined a five-fight wish list as he looks to take the next step in his career
Included are Tyson Fury (left) and the winner of the rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua (right)
Instead, Joyce’s five-fight path to heavyweight domination begins on Saturday night against Christian Hammer, 34, who has lost five times in his last 10 outings.
‘It’s unfortunate but I’m experienced in the boxing world. Things like this happen; the Dubois fight also got postponed, so I’ve just made the relevant adjustments and I’m going to put on a good display,’ Joyce – who has prepared for the bout out in Las Vegas with coach Ismael Salas – told Sportsmail of the fight.
JOE JOYCE’S FIVE-FIGHT WISH LIST
1) Christian Hammer
2) Joseph Parker
3) Dillian Whyte
4) Tyson Fury
5) Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk winner
It’s what comes next that fight fans are interested in, and Joyce is certainly hoping to entertain, with bouts against Parker, Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury and the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua next on the agenda – in that order.
First on that list is Parker, though a bout between the pair has been further complicated by his recent move to Sky Sports and BOXXER, with promoters Frank Warren and Ben Shalom now engaged in a war of words.
Shalom insists Joyce has been offered £1.2million to fight Parker on Sky Sports; Warren insists his counterpart is showing exactly how not to get a fight made; Joyce insists the former world champion is avoiding him.
‘It’s just hearsay,’ Joyce said of Shalom’s offer. ‘I haven’t actually seen the figures or the cash in front of me.
‘Parker has a good offer from Warren and BT Sport, so he’s just making things complicated or trying to duck me. I want to fight him, so if we can make it happen then let’s make it happen.’
Joyce believes Joseph Parker (right) is ducking him, despite BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom insisting a £1.2million offer has been made to stage the fight on Sky Sports
Joyce’s promoter Frank Warren says Shalom has shown exactly how not to make a fight
While it’s Parker who Joyce wants, the 36-year-old is aware he can’t wait around forever, and on Tuesday the Juggernaut announced he will be fighting on September 24, with or without his rival.
Joyce, the No 1 contender for Oleksandr Usyk’s WBO belt, later clarified to Sportsmail that there are other enticing options available. ‘I’m happy to fight whoever [on September 24] but everyone wants to see me fight Parker,’ he said. ‘It’s a good fight at this stage of my career.
‘It’s not one that I need to take; I’ve got other options. There’s also Dillian Whyte who I could potentially fight, or I could just wait until my mandatory [title shot] is called.’
That brings us to Joyce’s next target: Whyte. ‘The Body Snatcher’, following a painful wait for a title shot, finally got his opportunity against Fury in April. It lasted just six rounds, before Whyte’s nemesis, the uppercut, ended the contest in a flash.
Whyte must now rebuild before he gets another shot at glory, and Joyce believes a fight between the pair would be lapped up by the fans.
‘It’s a great fight,’ he said. ‘He was WBC mandatory for a long time and that’s an exciting fight. I think people would want to watch that as well.
‘I thought he could have approached the fight [against Fury] differently. He went southpaw which threw Fury off for a split second. But Fury looked so focused in there and he landed an amazing uppercut and showed his levels.’
Joyce indicated he would like to fight Dillian Whyte, despite his conclusive defeat by Fury
Whyte was knocked out in the sixth round as Fury landed a textbook uppercut clean on his chin
Wins against Hammer, Parker and Whyte would, for Joyce, ideally set up a clash against the current WBC champion, Fury, who still persists with the rhetoric that he will only come out of retirement if offered £500m.
That rhetoric is largely brushed aside by most, including his US promoter Bob Arum, who recently talked up a potential October showdown between Fury and Joyce, with the winner then going on to fight either Joshua or Usyk.
Joyce, who believes he’s the only man in the division capable of beating Fury, insists the match-up is one he wants. ‘Never say never,’ he said of the October bout. ‘It’s boxing; it’s unpredictable. I’d love to have that fight.’
There is a more natural path to a fight against either Joshua or Usyk, who fight on August 20 in Saudi Arabia, however, with Joyce being the No 1 contender for the WBO belt.
Joyce has also fought both in the amateurs – losing on both occasions. He was left angered after footage emerged showing Joshua getting the better of him in an old sparring session, and he has since called out his fellow Olympian on numerous occasions.
Joyce was left angered after footage emerged showing Joshua getting the better of him in an old sparring session
Joshua is set to rematch Oleksandr Usyk on August 20, and Joyce wants a shot at the winner
He believes Joshua, who was recently recorded storming into a Loughborough University flat and telling a group of heckling students to ‘watch their mouths’, has lost his head, though insisting he wants the Briton to emerge victorious in August.
‘I think his head’s gone and I’m just giving my opinion,’ he said. ‘The thing with the university students, intimidating them in their halls, calling them out, that should be water off a duck’s back.
‘I feel like he’s had it easy with his career with his Olympic gold medal and his world titles. He’s also done a lot for the sport at the same time, so I’m just voicing my opinion.’
He continued: ‘The popular opinion is that Usyk’s going to win, but AJ’s obviously a UK fighter and it would be good for him to win the belts back, and then that’s a bigger fight for me down the line. I would rematch both of them.
‘I think I did better against Usyk when I fought him in the amateurs. My pressure, my relentlessness over five rounds in the WSB, I thought it was a much closer fight. I think over 12 rounds it would have been a different story.’
Ultimately, however, Joyce’s plans will be immediately derailed should he fail to get past Hammer this weekend, and do so in style.
Hammer has lost nine of 36 fights, including a stoppage defeat by Hughie Fury last year
The journeyman has lost to Tyson Fury, his cousin Hughie, and Alexander Povetkin – and though coming off a stoppage win against the little-known Drazan Janjanin in May, anything but a knockout will be deemed a failure on Joyce’s behalf.
Joyce doesn’t think that will be too tall an order, though, insisting: ‘Hammer’s a durable opponent but I do believe I’ll get him out of there eventually.
‘He’s got a good chin and he can give me some challenges, too. It’s been around a year since I fought last, so it’s good to have a warm-up before the potential fights on the horizon.
‘Of course, I’ve got to deal with Hammer first and in spectacular fashion.’
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