Joe Joyce has taken a pop at unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk this week, claiming the Ukrainian won’t fight him because he “doesn’t want the smoke.”
Joyce holds the WBO interim world title after his sensational win over Joseph Parker last month, meaning full champion Usyk will have to either face Joyce or vacate the belt.
Speaking to Metro, ‘The Juggernaut’ made it clear he feels Usyk is much more likely to take the latter option.
“Ideally, I would like to fight Usyk, but it seems he is now looking elsewhere, considering moving back to cruiserweight or wanting to fight Fury but it doesn’t look like that is on the table at the moment. Usyk could vacate and then I would be elevated.”
“I think he’s probably going to vacate. He doesn’t want that smoke. He has also been at it a long time. Hundreds of amateur bouts over the years and he will have earned very decent money for his last two bouts [against Anthony Joshua]. “
“I don’t know, does he really want to take on The Juggernaut? If the Fury fight doesn’t happen for him, I’m not sure he wants to stay here and take loads of licks and have a hard fight when he doesn’t have to.”
Despite defeat when the two locked horns in the amateur ranks, it is clear Joyce believes there would be a very different outcome if a professional meeting was scheduled.
And the 37-year-old has been around boxing long enough to know to always expect the unexpected.
“But I don’t know what happens in boxing anymore. Fury changes his mind all the time, Usyk has a lot of options. But we will get there eventually. All I can do is keep calling people out and be patient.”