A ringside Joe Joyce will be eyeing his future opposition when he watches Anthony Joshua defend his WBA Super, WBO and IBF heavyweight crowns against Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.
“Joe is going there to say, ‘Look, I’m No 1 in the WBO, let’s go!’” Joyce’s manager Sam Jones told Sky Sports, who will broadcast Joshua-Usyk on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK next month. “Joe will be ringside and is looking at them as his future opponents.”
Putney’s Joyce is currently ranked No.2 by the WBO but will likely move to the head of the Puerto Rican sanctioning body’s queue after Joshua-Usyk. The ‘Juggernaut’ could then have to wait for the projected two-fight series between Joshua and WBC king Tyson Fury to be resolved, assuming AJ beats Usyk and the Gypsy King defeats Deontay Wilder in their trilogy bout on October 9. Boxing politics will also, almost inevitably, come into play.
“No, it won’t be next,” admitted Jones. “I believe the Joshua vs Tyson Fury fight will happen if they both come through their respective fights. Then after two [Joshua-Fury] fights, Joe could fight one of them.
“But Joe will fight for the WBO title before AJ and Fury’s rematch. Their first fight will be for the undisputed title but, before the second, I believe the belts will become vacant. Joe will fight whoever he needs to fight for that belt, then the winner of AJ vs Fury.
“Joe respects Joshua, likes him as a person, they get on well. But Joe wants to fight the best. It’s business. AJ and Fury are the best so that’s who Joe wants to challenge. Nobody will be excited to fight Joe but, unfortunately for them, he’s ranked at No 1 so somebody will have to fight him.
“Joseph Parker is a great fight – if it presents itself, we’d take it in a heartbeat. Andy Ruiz, Luis Ortiz. It’s a real possibility it could happen. Joe is game for either of those.
“We are looking forward to making big, big fights now for Joe. I’ve made it clear that we only want big fights and that’s what we’ll get.”
Main image: Queensberry Promotions.