Boxing trainer and analyst, Teddy Atlas, believes that Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn will steer clear from one ‘concussive puncher’ when choosing their next opponent.
Joshua is at an important stage of his career. After skyrocketing to the top of the division following Olympic success, the heavyweight from Watford lost his unified titles to Oleksandr Usyk when he was just one step away of the ultimate goal of becoming undisputed.
With a second loss to Usyk on his record now putting him out of the title picture for the time being, ‘AJ’ is looking for an opponent who will test him and help him continue to improve.
The name also has to put him in good standing for a future challenge at becoming three-time world champion.
Speaking on his The Fight podcast, Atlas said that Joe Joyce had no chance of being called up for that fight.
“There is no way on God’s Earth – no way – that Joshua and his promoter are getting within… they wouldn’t get within a ten foot pole of Joyce in that boxing ring. No way.”
Why? Atlas simply rates ‘The Juggernaut’ as one of the best in the division.
“I’ve been saying this guy’s a player. This guy’s got a chin of granite. He reminds me of a younger Foreman – although I gotta be careful with that because he is 38-years-old. But Joyce reminds me of George Foreman when he was in his first life before the comeback.
Just a big guy, a ponderous puncher, a concussive puncher. Not a snappy puncher … just a blunting type puncher that does damage. He’s big. He’s relentless. As I said, he’s got a great heart, great chin so far. I’ve been calling for this guy to be in there instead of some of the other guys to get the shot.”
A professional bout would reunited the two UK heavyweights after their 2011 meeting in the amateurs – Joshua came out on top that day.
Whilst ‘AJ’ and Joyce may not face off next, or even the fight after that, it’s still a domestic clash that fans would like to see. With all of the top contenders looking to make a statement now, 2023 looks like it could be a big year for the big men.