Joyce: I would take Joshua into deep waters

Joe Joyce believes he will prove a nightmarish opponent for Anthony Joshua should they meet in a heavyweight title fight.

WBA Super, WBO and IBF champion Joshua faces WBO No.1 contender Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25, with the No.2 rated Joyce next in line with the Puerto Rican sanctioning body.

Joyce would naturally prefer to face Joshua, the more lucrative option, when his title chance comes around. The former Team GB members medalled in successive Olympics (Joshua won gold in London 2012 with Joyce taking silver in Rio 2016) and the duo have sparred regularly in the past.

The ‘Juggernaut’ is known for steamrollering his opponents with pressure and bludgeoning power, as exemplified by his six-round win over Carlos Takam last weekend, but says he would adopt a more tactical approach against Joshua – much like his jabbing masterclass against Daniel Dubois in November 2020.

“I obviously wouldn’t go in and trade with [Joshua] for too long because he’s dangerous when he’s swinging those big arms around,” Joyce told Sky Sports.

“You don’t want to be caught with any of them. I would have to be a lot more tactical. There’s always two halves of the fight. It’s a long fight, so I could take him into deep waters and drown him.

“I tend to take a lot of shots and, if he’s going to land big shots, there will be some risky exchanges on both sides, and I’m sure I could land some heavy ones on him, too.

“I haven’t spoken to him for ages. I haven’t tried either. He’s a fellow GB team-mate, but we could be fighting very soon. He’s always been a step ahead anyway. I’ve always been a stage behind. Now I’ve worked my way up, so I should be challenging him soon.

“When you’re the same weight, you’re probably going to fight. You always have that in the back of your mind. We had some great spars over the years and it was very competitive, so it would be one hell of a fight, if he wants it?”