Anthony Joshua once reigned supreme on the British Heavyweight scene.
A few losses, no belts, the return of Tyson Fury and the journey of Joe Joyce have changed that dynamic.
With ‘AJ’ now back to winning ways, there’s speculation as to who he faces next, and who fans would like to see him in the ring with before retirement.
One name is Joe Joyce. An amateur win for ‘AJ’ over ‘The Juggernaut’ planted the seed for a professional fight, and that has recently been buoyed by some bad blood and back and forths.
Joyce believes the tables have turned as to who should be requesting the fight, though, asking in a recent interview with Queensberry Promotions ‘why do I give him the opportunity?’
“He mentioned my name then. He found his voice. He didn’t mention it right after the fight, maybe he was advised not to. It’s a great fight if it happens.”
“I think he’s ripe for the picking right now. He’s kind of like doing this whole rebuilding thing. Hopefully that works for him and we may be able to make the fight.
But, I mean, why do I give him the opportunity? It’s a big fight but I need to get past Zhang first, and I keep on mentioning fighting Usyk or Fury.”
In terms of belts and standing in the division, he’s correct.
Despite ‘AJ’ being a two-time world champion that, not too long ago, held the unified titles, Joyce is now WBO Interim Champion.
Many may believe that the belt is unnecessary, but the position it gives is undeniable – he’s directly in line for a shot at Oleksandr Usyk’s world title and the other two that come with it. That is, as long as he beats Zhilei Zhang this weekend.
Joshua’s side may argue that his star power levels the playing field, but largely it doesn’t matter to the boxing fans – all people want to see is the fight happen.