Joe Joyce has had a bruising year, two losses to Zhilei Zhang knocking him down the heavyweight rankings and relieving him of his prized mandatory position.
At 38-years-old, the Brit says he’s going to have one more crack at reaching the top, but he now not only has to deal with the men of his generation, but the up and comers too.
One such fighter is Richard Torrez Jr, a 24-year-old Californian who, like Joyce, won a Silver Medal at the Olympics. He is 8-0 with eight knockouts, the latest of which came in the eighth round against Curtis Harper.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of that fight, Torrez revealed that a past sparring session means ‘The Juggernaut’ is his number one target.
Whilst the American respects the rules of the gym and doesn’t go into detail, he seems to hint that the action went on a little longer than agreed.
“I was 17 and there’s some animosity, at least on my end from that sparring session. I don’t want to get into it too much but I definitely would love that boxing match to be able to happen one day if not next year.”
“Some people hear the bell and some people don’t. I can’t speak for the guy and who he is as a person. I just know from my experience of what happened with me, I do harbour a little bit of just wanting to be able to fight him in the pros.
“If I could have one fight, I would like to fight him.”
It seems both men were yet to turn pro in the session if it was seven years ago, with Joyce making the switch not long after in 2017.
Whilst Torrez keeps busy building up, Joyce’s team will be plotting his return, set for the first half of 2024. Despite the intrigue here, it’s an unlikely match-up for now.