JOE JOYCE HAS welcomed the development of former GB teammate Anthony Joshua mentioning his name as a potential future opponent, once his return fight against Jermaine Franklin has been settled on Saturday night.
Joyce, of course, also has big business of his own to negotiate in the shape of Chinese giant Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang at the Copper Box Arena on April 15.
Then we could be in for a battle of the Olympic titans.
“Joe Joyce interests me the most,” said Joshua during his media activities ahead of his return to the ring this weekend.
“I like the Joe Joyce fight, it’s one that interests the people and Joe Joyce is from the same country as me, so it makes sense.”
Fighting the Big Juggernaut would also offer Joshua a route back towards world title contention, with Joyce holding the WBO Interim world championship, which puts him firmly in line for a direct shot at the full champion.
“It’s good that Joshua’s finally mentioning my name now,” commented Joyce to the Sun.
“I thought he might have thrown his phone in the Hudson river after he lost in New York and stopped replying to my messages.
“I have a proper fight in two weeks against someone that he didn’t want that smoke with and backed away from – a fellow 6ft 6in Olympic silver winner. He’s fighting someone without that pedigree, who again looks about a foot shorter than him.
“ I saw AJ and Eddie (Hearn) promise that the winner of Franklin and Whyte last November was going to get this AJ fight and they’ve gone with the geezer who lost!
“But if we both come through I would love that fight in the summer. Two of the best in the UK going at it. The winner fights Tyson Fury! But I’m just not sure he really wants it. It’s an easy fight to make – my management and his management know each other well; and I would imagine Frank and Eddie and BT/DAZN would combine on it no problem. British boxing needs these kind of fights – no more messing around.
“So I’m up for it, no problem, but I expect them to find an excuse. And will probably back out when it actually comes time to sign the contract. I don’t think that AJ wants a tough opponent like me next.
“He may talk about tough fights against me and Fury, but he’ll probably want to fight someone he’s already beaten like Dillian Whyte. I think he feels the need to rebuild his confidence before he gets Juggernauted.”
Tickets for the Copper Box clash between heavyweight giants Joe Joyce and Zhilei Zhang on Saturday, 15 April are available from ticketmaster.co.uk