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Joe Joyce says Alexander Povetkin could be next opponent

Alexander Povetkin Alexander Ustinov

By Sean Jones: Joe Joyce (9-0, 9 KOs) destroyed Alexander Usinov (34-4, 25 KOs) in a third round knockout last Saturday night, and now he says he could be facing former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) next on July 13 at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Povetkin, 39, might be too advanced for Joyce at this stage in his career. Joyce hasn’t faced anyone with the kind of talent that Povetkin has going for him. It might be a mistake for him to take this fight. Povetkin hasn’t fought since his seventh round stoppage loss to heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua last September. Povetkin had Joshua hurt in the second round after clipping him with a right hand to the head. Joshua was able to use his size to come back and dominate the rest of the fight, but he was definitely hurt in the second round. Joyce would be getting Povetkin at the right time of his career with him nearly 40, and coming off of a long layoff and loss to Joshua. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is interested in using Povetkin for his fighters Michael Hunter and/or Oleksandr Usyk. If Joshua’s management wants Povetkin for his July 13 opponent, they’re likely going to need to give him a big offer. Povetkin is going to know it’s not going to be an easy fight for him, so he’ll want to get a good payday for the hard work that’s going to be involved in him having to try and chop down a fighter four inches taller than him, and approximately 35 pounds heavier.

Joyce, 33, knocked out Ustinov with a brutal left hook in the third round last Saturday night in their scheduled 10 round fight on the undercard of Billy Joe Saunders vs. Shefat Isufu on BT Sport at the Lamex Stadium, in Stevenage, England. Joyce took some hard punches from the 6’7 1/2″ Ustinov in the first round. By the second round, Ustinov was already tired, and sweating profusely. The power on Ustinov’s shots disappeared right away, and he looked like he wasn’t going to be able to go too much longer. Joyce wasn’t landing much, but Ustinov was still exhausted nonetheless. Joyce was doing a lot of movement, but not throwing many punches. When Joyce did throw some shots, he looked really slow of hand.

“I wanted to try some new stuff and see if I could land my shots,” Joyce said after his win over Ustinov last Saturday night. “I wanted to start fast and early and see what comes back. He’s seasoned and very tough. I’ll be back in the gym soon to get ready for July 13,” Joyce said.

Joyce got hit with some big shots in the opening round. Those punches bruised his face, and marked up his eyes. He was lucky that Ustinov tired out after the first round, because it would have been a difficult fight if not for that.

Joyce wants title shot in 2019

After the fight, Joyce said he wants to fight for a world title this year. Joyce, 6’6″ 260 pounds, didn’t say which of the heavyweight world champions he wants to face. Given the negative comments Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn made about Joyce not having the credentials to be considered to fight for a world title, it’s likely that he’ll need to go the WBC route to try and get a title shot against Deontay Wilder. Joyce is ranked #15 by the World Boxing Council.

“I’d like a world title by the end of the year to set myself up for some really big fights in 2020,” Joyce said.

The only way that Joyce gets a title shot by the end of 2019 is if it’s a voluntary defense by Wilder or Joshua, and it’s unclear whether they’ll want to fight him under that condition. Why would those two champions want to give a big heavyweight with a lot of power, a great engine and movement a title shot? It doesn’t make sense for them to do that.

“He’s very awkward. He’s a really seasoned vet,” Joyce said about Ustinov to IFL TV. “He was quite hard to hit at times. It gave me a chance to work on what I’ve been working on to use my head movement to slip shots. I managed to get to work and land my left hook. Winning the fight like that before [Michael] Hunter proves to the world and to Eddie [Hearn] that I’m a credible opponent,” Joyce said when told that Hearn had ruled Joyce out as a potential opponent for IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua due to him feeling he’s not a credible opponent due to his lack of experience.

Joyce moved a lot against Ustinov when he didn’t need to. The movement looked odd at times, as if Joyce was just doing it because he has a new trainer and wanted to practice stuff. It didn’t look like Joyce needed to move. He as in with a guy with no speed, and who was tired in Ustinov. The movement was just a waste of time.

“Yeah, that’s an interesting fight, yeah,” Joyce said when asked if former WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin is a potential opponent for his July 13 fight. “That’s one of the names, yeah. Possibly, yeah. So, yes, I would be up against it. A really good opponent on July 13th. It’s going to be a massive heavyweight showdown on that day with three of us fighting with me, Daniel [Dubois], and Nathan [Gorman],” Joyce said.

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