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Joe Joyce calls out Oleksandr Usyk: “I’m ready” for you

Daniel Dubois Joe Joyce

By Barry Holbrook: Joe Joyce wants Oleksandr Usyk next after his big 10th round knockout win over the popular Queensbury promoted Daniel Dubois on Saturday night at the Church House in Westminster, London, England.

Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) landed jabs all night long against Dubois (15-1, 14 KOs) until his left eye swelled shut, and he took a knee in the tenth after feeling stabbing from injury.

Promoter Frank Warren floated the idea of Joyce, 35, potentially giving Dubois a rematch, but ‘The Juggernaut made it clear that he wishes to potentially face Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant WBO heavyweight title if Anthony Joshua vacates his title.

Oleksandr will force Joshua to vacate

Usyk, 33, is going to force Joshua to give up his belt by insisting that he adhere to his mandatory requirements. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine doesn’t want to wait until 2022 before he gets his mandated title shot. When Joshua gives up his WBO title, Usyk and Joyce will fight for the belt.

Seven years ago, Usyk defeated Joyce by a five-round decision in the World Series of Boxing. Now it’ll be a bigger, stronger Joyce’s chance to avenge that loss in a 12 round fight against Usyk. It’s going to be a lot harder for Usyk now.

Joshua has a two-fight deal with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, and he wants to fight him twice in 2021, which would mean that Usyk would need to wait.

If Usyk could put himself in suspended animation by freezing himself so that he doesn’t age, and he doesn’t have to risk his WBO mandatory status by fighting twice in 2021, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

But the fact of the matter is, Usyk will get older while he waits on Joshua and Fury to complete their two-fight deal. Also, Usyk would be expected to fight at least once if not twice next year in fights that would entail a certain amount of risk.

That’s why Usyk is going to insist on the World Boxing Organization force Joshua to defend against him in early 2021 or else vacate the title.

The way that Dubois went down after getting hit by a hard jab from Joyce in the 10th, it was immediately clear that he was in a lot of pain. Dubois didn’t want to get up and risk it by fighting with the injury.

Dubois vows to come again

“I was glad it was over,” Joyce said when asked about his thoughts when he saw Dubois quit in the 10th.

“I’ve been hit hard, but it was the position on the eye. It was the way he hit me,” said Dubois on why he quit. “I’m a tough guy, and I’ll come again for sure.”

“I’ve taken some big shots, and respect to Daniel, he’s got some power, and he’s young, he’s fresh and he’s hungry and he can come again,” said Joyce.

“And I’ve felt power like that before, and with my experience, I’ve learned to ride it and come back.

“I’ve been blessed with a good chin so that I can keep going and keep moving forward. I felt his power. I was happy to take it if you know what I mean. Preferably not take it.”

“I didn’t know, I was just fighting,” Dubois said when asked whether he felt he was ahead on the scorecards going into the 10th. “I was just trying to figure out how to break him down, get inside, and let my shots work.

“He rode with my punches well. I was probably a little bit trigger-happy, but I need to be smart and pace myself a bit more. Joe won,” said Dubois.

“What can I say? He caught me with a good jab, and his jab was really accurate,” said Dubois to BT Sport in explaining why he quit. “I couldn’t see out of the eye, and it just happens.

“I can’t explain it. At the moment, he just pinged it, and I couldn’t see out of it. I was trying my best, and it happened,” said Dubois.

It’s good that Dubois wants to come back, but he needs to make sure he’s 100% when he does return.

Joyce wants Usyk next

“I started to look at that eye, and it was starting to swell up. And I felt quite comfortable landing it,” said Joyce. “I was moving away from his right hands.

“I was trying not to get too close because when I get close, that was when he was going to let them go.

“And try not to get backed up against the ropes because that’s when he lets them go. I don’t want to be hit with any when he lets them go,” said Joyce.

“The eye was a massive problem,” said Frank Warren. “You could see that he couldn’t see out of it. So he was in trouble. I said from the beginning of the fight that it’s about who gets their jab off.

“It’s a battle of the jabs. Whoever has the better jab, they’re going to control the fight. I felt it was a pretty even fight, there was nothing in it. He couldn’t see out of the eye, and Joe did what he had to do.

“He’s strong, he’s smart and he come through it. He said he felt like it was a nerve or something that it shot through him, and that’s what it was.

“He’s in the driver’s seat, isn’t he? That’s where he goes now in 2021,” said Warren when asked where does Joyce go from here.

“Usyk, I’m ready for Usyk,” said Joyce.

We’re likely to find out in the next two months whether Joshua will vacate his WBO title or keep it and defend against Usyk. If Joshua keeps it, Joyce will need to get in line and earn the #1 spot with the WBO.

Warren confident Dubois can come back

“Yeah, I couldn’t quite see what happened,” said Warren when asked if he was shocked when Dubois went down on a knee in the 10th.

“He was obviously in a lot of pain to have done that. I don’t mean it’s like a shot knocked him down. He clipped him with a jab, and that obviously did something to his eye.

“Of course, he’s [Dubois] is going to carry on. He’s a young man. Joe, what would you do at his age? It’s obviously something he’ll learn from.

“If he never had the eye [injury], I’m sure that Joe’s not complaining about it, who knows how it would have ended? It was getting very interesting, the fight, wasn’t it?

“A prime example is David Haye. Carl Thomspon, look what happened with him. He came back and won a title. This happens to numerous fighters. Now, this is a sign of who you are and what you are.

“Can you come back? I would think he can, but we’ll see. I tell you what would be great is a rematch with the crowd there.

“Can you imagine if the crowd had been there tonight? The place would have been jumping, wouldn’t have it?” said Warren

“It would have been much more fun,” said Joyce.

All Warren and the boxing public can do is wait and see what happens with Dubois in coming back from his eye injury. You never know what happened to the eye. Until it’s checked out, we can only guess if he can come back.




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