Teddy Atlas believes a heavyweight will prove to be something of a wasted talent that could have been a world champion had he been training him earlier in his career.
The American has worked with the likes of Mike Tyson, Shannon Briggs and Michael Moorer – a two-time heavyweight champion under his guidance.
As the dust settles from this past weekend when Joe Joyce suffered a second loss to Zhilei Zhang, many people have put it down to his famous granite chin deserting him.
In the face of limited defence and head movement, Joyce has often relied on his toughness to get him through fights, but by the third round against Zhang that strategy failed as he was set to the canvas not to rise again before the 10 count.
Speaking on The Fight, Atlas rued what he sees as years of substandard coaching for Joyce, who came in at a career heaviest weight for this rematch.
“I said Joyce was a shot fighter who was hit with too many punches over his career cause he was never taught properly, and that saddens me cause when you got a guy that tough, with that much of a granite chin, that willing, and he’s not taught right in the sport, there’s a lot of guys out there who shouldn’t be training.”
He went on to say that with the right training, Joyce could have made it all the way to the top.
“When I’m watching it, I’m saddened. I actually get angry that he never got taught any of the basis like defense, the fundamental things that you’re responsible to teach a guy if you’re gunna wear that hat as a trainer. There’s nothing worse than wasted talent. This kid never got a chance to develop.”
He then made the claim that he would have been able to get more out of Joyce and would have helped him lift a world title, but that it’s too late now.
“If I was training Joe Joyce, at the right time – it’s too late now, he’s all used up – he’s heavyweight champion of the world. A guy that strong who can punch, I’m gunna teach him the things he needs to use those qualities to a better, more efficient level.”
During these final stages of his career, it seems unlikely anyone will be able to reshape Joyce into a much different fighter than he is, but the man himself has stated quite clearly that he will be back for more once he is over this defeat.