Joe Joyce is brimming with enthusiasm.
The 37-year-old heavyweight contender has seen his prospects glow lately, after he stopped former champion Joseph Parker with a brutal left hook in the 11th round of their 12-round contest last Saturday at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Now, "The Juggernaut" wants a piece of the top dogs in the division.
At the top of Joyce’s list is unified heavyweight champion (WBO, WBA, IBF) Oleksandr Usyk. But Joyce is not likely to land that fight anytime soon, give that Usyk is currently preoccupied with the notion of fighting WBC heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury “for all the belts.”
Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) listed a few other opponents he would be interested in fighting next, namely, his promotional stablemate Fury (another fight that likely won’t happen anytime soon, if ever), former champion Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs), American puncher Deontay Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs), and British contender Dillian Whyte (28-3, 19KOs).
“Probably Usyk, because that would be for the title (WBO), and then Fury, AJ, Wilder — there are plenty of names — Dillian Whyte would be a good fight,” Joyce told Sky Sports. “Right now I just want to secure this world heavyweight champion[ship] and then either get more belts or be in bigger fights. And this is a great fight that kind of pushed me onto that next level.”
“There are plenty of great fights out there for me,” Joyce added. “I didn’t have to fight Joseph Parker, but it then pushed me up to that next level.”
Even if a fight with Usyk, whom Joyce lost to as an amateur, does not materialize, Joyce is confident that he will become a titlist one way or another because he is now the interim WBO heavyweight champion. In Joyce’s view, either Usyk will have to vacate his WBO strap or the sanctioning body will have to strip him of it.
“If I’m WBO interim, if Usyk doesn’t want to fight me, he has to vacate the belt and I get elevated to full champion,” Joyce said.