Joe Joyce: ‘Hurry up AJ make the fight, so I can beat Usyk up’
By Barry Holbrook: Joe Joyce posted on social media on Monday that he wants Anthony Joshua to “hurry up” and get the fight done with Tyson Fury so that he can face Oleksandr Usyk for the WBO mandatory spot to earn a title shot against the winner.
The former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) has been in a holding pattern waiting to see if the Joshua – Fury fight would get made for this summer.
If Joshua vs. Fury doesn’t get made, Usyk, 34, will be the likely opponent for WBO heavyweight champion AJ (24-1, 22 KOs) as his Plan-B option.
Barring that, Usyk will face #2 WBO contender Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) in a fight that will attract massive interest from the boxing world.
The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joyce, 35, is coming off a huge 10th round knockout win over previously unbeaten Daniel Dubois on November 28th.
For his part, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk scraped by with a narrow 12 round split decision over Derek Chisora on October 31st in a fight that could have gone either way.
Joyce tells Joshua to “hurry up” and fight Fury
I’m also tired, hurry up AJ make the fight, so I can beat Usyk up! 👊🏾 https://t.co/968LVVcZKl
— Joe Joyce (@JoeJoyceBoxing) May 10, 2021
According to promoter Eddie Hearn, the negotiations for the site deal between Joshua and Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) are close to being finalized for a fight on August 7th or 14th in Saudi Arabia.
Once the Joshua-Fury fight is finalized and made official, Joyce and Usyk can get their match negotiated. While that bout isn’t nearly as important as the Joshua vs. Fury contest, it’ll still receive a great deal of attention from boxing fans.
“I saw the tweets from AJ. He’s tired, the fans are tired, and everyone is tired,” Hearn said Sky Sports News.
“We’re in a stage where people are getting frustrated. The deal is done. August 7th, August 14th. I think it’s a very bad secret that the fight is happening in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s the same people that we did the deal with Andy Ruiz [in December 2019],” said Hearn.
Joyce, 6’6″, will likely be viewed as the underdog against the Ukrainian Usyk, but he could surprise boxing fans by pulling off a big upset.
For Joyce, it would be his second consecutive upset win, as he was seen as the weaker of the two in his last fight against Daniel Dubois.
Joyce with a tough task against Usyk
Beating Dubois was a huge accomplishment by Joyce, given that he was getting worked over earlier in the contest. Dubois would likely have too much size, firepower, and youth for the smallish Usyk if those two were to fight.
For Joyce to defeat Usyk, he’ll need to put nonstop pressure on him and make sure that he punishes him with body shots. Usyk isn’t the easiest fighter to beat with headshots due to his movement, but he’s still there to be hit.
Chisora would have beaten Usyk if he didn’t gas out during the championship rounds last October.
- Bob Arum confident Fury vs. Usyk gets made for Middle East in April
- Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk could be heading to Wembley Stadium in late April
- Dillian Whyte irritated about delay in Anthony Joshua negotiations for summer stadium fight
- Finalized: Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin on April 1st at O2 Arena in London