Joe Joyce finds Tyson Fury a lot more enticing as his world title opponent than Oleksandr Usyk.
The 37-year-old heavyweight contender from London said if he was allowed to choose his world title opponent, he would prefer to face his countryman Fury, the Manchester native and WBC heavyweight titlist, over Usyk, the WBO, IBO, WBA, IBF unified champion from Ukraine.
Fury and Usyk are headed toward the undisputed heavyweight championship in March, most likely in the Middle East.
Joyce, who faces Chinese contender Zhilei Zhang in April, is the top ranked contender for Usyk’s WBO belt.
But if Fury ends up defeating Usyk to become the undisputed champion of the division, Joyce has no doubt in his mind that that’s the fight he would like to pursue. Both Fury and Joyce, moreover, are promoted by the same company, Queensberry.
“It depends on who wins [Usyk-Fury]. Obviously, if Fury wins -- he probably will, and I’m not writing Usyk off because he’s a tough fighter and skilled and would give [Fury] some problems,” Joyce told iD Boxing. “But, yeah, ideally, I’d like to fight Fury next, especially if he wins. That would be an undisputed fight. That would be crazy.”
Joyce is coming off a statement performance in September, an 11th-round stoppage of former titlist Joseph Parker.
Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) has history with Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), a skilled southpaw, going back to their amateur days. Usyk soundly outpointed Joyce in 2013 in the World Series of Boxing.
“The Juggernaut” says he does not think Usyk is not exactly raring to fight him anytime soon.
“But I know Usyk doesn’t want to fight me either, saying something like that I’m a tank in there,” Joyce said. “We just have to see what happens in the heavyweight landscape. I’m just gonna get a fight on in [April] and lead into a bigger fight in the summer.”