By Keith Idec
LOS ANGELES – Joe Joyce sat ringside Saturday night and got an up-close look at Luis Ortiz.
The huge British heavyweight didn’t seen anything that would deter him from fighting the hard-hitting heavyweight contender. Ortiz demolished Romania’s Razvan Cojanu in the second round of their scheduled 10-round fight at Staples Center, where Ortiz crushed Cojanu (16-4, 9 KOs) with a left hand that dropped his 6-feet-7½, 269-pound opponent and ended their fight.
Joyce still wants to prove how ready he is for a title shot by boxing Ortiz (29-1, 25 KOs, 2 NC).
That’s an admirable game plan for the 32-year-old Joyce, who’s just 5-0, including five knockouts, as a professional. The London native told BoxingScene.com that he’s willing to fight Ortiz “maybe not the next fight,” but soon thereafter.
“I’m ready for anything, so it’d be a good challenge to take on Ortiz,” Joyce said. “Hopefully we can make the fight.”
The 6-feet-6, 250-pound Joyce, a silver medalist at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, recently hired Abel Sanchez as his trainer and is now preparing for his fights at Sanchez’s gym in Big Bear Lake, California. In his most recent bout, Joyce knocked out Croatia’s Ivica Bacurin (30-14-1, 19 KOs) in the first round June 15 at York Hall in London.
The 6-feet-4, 240-pound Ortiz obviously is a huge step up from fighters like Bacurin, but the ambitious Joyce feels he doesn’t have time to waste. He wants to test himself against a top heavyweight sooner rather than later.
“I like making statements,” said Joyce, whose fourth professional fight was scheduled for 12 rounds. “Like my debut was a 10-round main event. I won the [British] commonwealth title in my fourth fight, so I like to break records and be the first to do things. That’s what I wanna do. Hopefully I can get to a world title in record time, too.”
The 39-year-old Ortiz only has lost to WBC champ Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs). The strong southpaw hurt Wilder badly in the seventh round of their March 3 bout, but Wilder recovered, dropped Ortiz twice in the 10th round and won by technical knockout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“I thought he did well against Wilder,” Joyce said. “I just think he ran out of gas and that’s when he got taken out. And I don’t run out of gas.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.