Frank Warren favors Joe Joyce to defeat Oleksandr Usyk
By William Lloyd: Promoter Frank Warren believes Joe Joyce has the goods to dethrone WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk when or if the time comes for the two to square off.
Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) is mandatory for Usyk’s WBO title. He would possibly be facing him now if not for Anthony Joshua exercising his rematch clause after losing his three titles to the Ukrainian fighter on September 25th at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.
Usyk and Joshua will be meeting in early 2022 for their rematch. In the meantime, Joyce, 34, will wait for his mandated turn to challenge the WBO title against the winner.
Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) beat Joyce by a five round unanimous decision on March 1, 2013, in an amateur fight in the World Series of Boxing at York Hall in Bethnal Green. The scores were lopsided in Usyk’s favor, with him winning 50-45, 50-45, and 50-45.
Much has changed since then, with Joyce filling out his tall 6’6″ frame, going from the 231 lbs he weighed for the Usyk fight to the 263 lbs he carried for his last contest against Carlos Takam on July 24th.
Joyce is now heavier, stronger and he possesses a powerful jab that he uses to win wear down his opposition.
“Him [Joe Joyce] and Usyk would be a great fight,” said promoter Frank Warren to Sky Sports.
“He [Joyce] could hurt Usyk; he’s a big man. Could he beat Usyk? Yes. He fancies it, and I fancy it. He isn’t going to back off Usyk. He’d let his shots go. It won’t be the little man out-jabbing the big man – that will not be happening.”
“Tyson [Fury] said that he’s the best one out there. That’s what Tyson’s opinion was. Can he go all the way? Yes, he can,” said Warren.
Ideally, Joshua beats Usyk in their rematch, which would set up a massive clash between AJ and Joyce in the second half of 2022. There would be a great deal of interest in that fight.
One potential issue that could get in the way of Joyce challenging for the title is if WBC champion Tyson Fury faces the Joyce vs. Usyk 2 winner.
If the World Boxing Organization lets the Joshua-Usyk II winner face Fury, Joyce might need to wait until 2023 before getting a shot at the WBO belt.
It would be bad for Joyce to have to wait, as he would be a year older by then, and who’s to say whether the winner of those fights will want to fight him.
They could vacate, leaving Joyce to fight for the vacant WBO belt against the highest-ranked contender, which would be a disaster. Under that doomsday scenario, instead of Joyce fighting Fury, Joshua, or Usyk, he could wind up facing Joseph Parker for the vacated WBO belt.
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