Sunday, September 25, 2022

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Joe Joyce believes he can beat Oleksandr Usyk NOW after the pair fought as amateurs in 2013

Joe Joyce has braced himself to defeating world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk if the pair were to fight for the world title in the future.

Joyce is currently gearing up to face Joseph Parker at Manchester Arena on September 24 and has a chance to become interim WBO champion.

This would put him in the best position to challenge the Ukrainian for his unified titles.

Joyce previously faced Usyk in an amateur bout in 2013, losing over five rounds by decision.

They faced Ukraine Otamans in a World Series of Boxing group match, defeating Britain’s Lionhearts.

Both Joyce and Usyk have several parallels – they are undefeated and excel at the amateur level, both representing their nations at the Olympics.

And Joyce, who has 14 wins from 14 fights as a pro with 13 knockouts, now feels he’s improved enough that if the pair were to meet again in the pro arena, he’d defeat Usyk.

“I think if it had gone a few more rounds I could have done something in the fight,” Joyce told The Mirror.

“I landed shots and was good in the fight, but he was just a little more skilled and sweet with his shots.

“I also feel like I could have prepared better with the southpaw sparring and things leading up to the fight, but we’ve both come a long way.

“And I think with Ismael Salas (renowned boxing coach) developing the game plan and laying out the techniques that I can work on, I think he can come up with something that I can use to beat Usyk now.”

There are question marks over whether Joyce Usyk could face immediate complications over the Ukrainian’s desire to face Deontay Wilder after seemingly missing a fight with Tyson Fury.

However, Joyce is confident that if he can beat Parker, he can win a fight with Usyk.

He said: “I would definitely love that. I think it’s a great fight and there will be no argument if I fight Usyk or Fury because I’m at that elite level if I beat Parker and I hope that if I beat Parker I’ll get more respect defeat.

“I jumped up in people’s ratings when I beat Dubois and I hope I can get more respect. I think this fight with Usyk also has a good ring to it as it would be a fight of the undefeated.’

For now, Joyce is solely focused on Parker, who has claimed he is confident of retiring the British boxer on September 24.

Speaking to TalkSPORT last month, the New Zealand heavyweight said: “I think I’ll get him (Joyce) to stop boxing.

“I know he doesn’t stop and there’s no stopping in him from the fights that we’ve seen, but if you keep attacking and keep chopping off, eventually he’ll feel it.”

He added: “It’s a high-risk fight for both guys. There are other fights out there, but there wasn’t one that would put me on top.

“The Joyce fight was the right fight for me. There’s a rematch clause, so the goal is to fight and beat him. Then fight and defeat him again in December.”

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