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Joe Joyce says Luis Ortiz refused the fight, talks Joshua vs. Usyk

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Joe Joyce

By Allan Fox: Joe Joyce says former two-time heavyweight title challenger Luis Ortiz turned down a fight against him. The management for #2 WBO Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) is looking for an opponent for his next fight before the end of the year, and Ortiz, 42, was one of the guys they attempted to sign-up for the clash.

Joyce is in the enviable position to challenge the winner of next Saturday’s fight between IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk next year at Emirates Stadium in London.

Ortiz must not have another path to a world title for him to be turning down a fight that could lead to a big payday against Joshua. Who knows why Ortiz would reject a fight with Joyce, knowing that it could lead to a massive payday if he won.

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joyce is coming off a sixth round knockout win over Carlos Takam on July 24th. It was a good fight for Joyce in showing what he could do against the former world title challenger Takam.

Four years ago, Joshua stopped Takam in the 10th round in a competitive fight in Cardiff, Wales. Joyce did a better job of beating Takam than Joshua, but he’s now 40-years-old and not the same guy youth-wise that AJ fought in 2017.

Joyce training for the next fight

“I’m just training, waiting for my fight date, and I should be out before the end of the year,” said Joe Joyce to iFL TV. “Working on things in the gym, getting stronger, fitter, ready for a world title shot soon coming to you.

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Joe Joyce

“I’m pleased with my route to a world title, and that’s why I resigned,” said Joyce about him resigning with Queensbury Promotions.

“That was an option [to fight Joseph Parker], but he’s obviously now going to fight Derek Chisora, and there were a few more names.

“[Luis] Ortiz was mentioned, but I’m not sure he wants the smoke. But there are other names around the area. We’ll see what we can get. I imagine so, but the better person to talk to would be Adam or Sam. In the back of my mind, that’s what I can remember as the opponents.

“Yeah,” Joyce said when asked if Luis Ortiz turned down a fight against him. “He didn’t want a war,” said Joyce.

It’ll be interesting to see who Joyce’s management can get for him to fight in December. Someone like Andy Ruiz Jr., Michael Hunter, Filip Hrgovic, or Tony Yoka would be ideal for Joyce.

Joyce says Usyk has a “good chance” against Joshua

“He’s got a good chance,” Joyce said when asked if Oleksandr Usyk has a chance against Anthony Joshua.

“He’s a very skilled seasoned boxer, and I think he could cause problems for Joshua because of his footwork and ringcraft and the way he moves his head. He’ll be able to slip Joshua’s punches and maybe come back with something.

“He [Oleksandr] is the smaller man, so Joshua is going to have the reach advantage. His power is phenomenal. So it depends on what the tactics are for both of them, and can Joshua land a shot?

“Is Usyk going to be able to slip and maybe trouble Joshua? We’re going to have to see. It’s a great fight, and may the best man win, and I’ll hopefully be there at ringside to challenge the winner.

“That’s the plan,” said Joyce about him fighting the Joshua vs. Usyk winner at the Emirates Stadium in London next year.

“Well, he had a good performance against his friend Joe Fournier and put up a good fight,” said Joyce in reacting to news of David Haye calling out Tyson Fury after his win over Fournier.

“That fight [Fury vs. Haye] was supposed to have been made a long time ago. Maybe it’s a possibility. He [Haye] has come out of retirement, so I don’t know. It’s a bit of a random one,”  said Joyce.

If Usyk can slip Joshua’s punches and counter him often enough, he might knock him out at some point.

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