Joe Joyce is teasing a sensational post-boxing career change, but won’t stop until he’s won a world title
JOE JOYCE says he’s so well-versed in boxing politics he could get a job as MP for Putney.
The 37-year-old west London heavyweight was stripped of Olympic gold in 2016 by bad judgement.
And now he has to wait in line while Daniel Dubois, whom he defeated in 2020, gets a crack at Oleksandr Usyk’s WBA, IBF and WBO belts ahead of him.
Luckily, while Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are falling behind in the popularity polls for their crouching or stalling, the undefeated Juggernaut is putting up big fights.
But the Bachelor of Fine Arts could have graduated in the dark arts of boxing by now and manages a smile when asked how he’s coping with a frustrating history of injuries.
Ahead of his copper box showdown with 6ft, 6in tall Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang, Joyce told SunSport: “Back with boxing politics it seems like the bane of my fucking career.
“It was never easy for me to come back to those Olympic finals.
“And now I have to weave my way through the pro game, going through opponents and jumping over hurdles just to fight the top guys.
“I think I could do a job as an MP after all that, I had to be quite a diplomat at the end.
“I’ve talked about going back to university after boxing to do an arts master’s, but maybe I’ll retrain and apply my political experience to a second job.”
Joyce didn’t start boxing until he was 21 and spent a decade as an amateur before turning pro, so he’s always been catching up.
Early doubters considered his unique style slow and clumsy.
But now Joyce’s granite chin, relentless engine and thundering power have made him a revered veteran with a perfect 15-0 record with 14 of his victims being KO’d.
And the former rugby, diving and athletics ace and star student can look back on his old video villains with pride because it seems he’s let the rest of the division run away.
CASINO SPECIAL – THE BEST REGISTRATION OFFERS FOR NEW CUSTOMERS
He said: “I like to criticize myself after a fight.
“I like to look back and review my performance because at the moment and with the adrenaline rush you don’t really know how you’re doing.
“When the punches are flying and the crowd is cheering, it can fly by, so I like to go backstage or to the hotel and see everything.
“When I look at some of my older fights, especially the early amateur ones, I cringe a little, but I can see how much my technique has really progressed.”
Joyce’s 2022 win over former world champion Joseph Parker was a contender for fight of the year, a bloody fight ending in a stunning left hook and the Kiwis’ first loss.
And Joyce’s eyes light up when we tell him that Parker and veteran trainer Andy Lee said the KO artist boxed exactly as they expected, but they had absolutely no way of stopping him.
He beamed: “I’m full of it! That’s enough for me.
“I want to be seen as a daunting task, I take that as a compliment.
“Some boxers are unpredictable but I think everyone knows my style and it’s good for me that they can’t figure it out or stop it.
“It feels good to get some of that recognition for flying under the radar. Now I’m climbing above the surface and hopefully beyond.
“It’s nice to have support and recognition – and the money isn’t bad either.”