Anthony Joshua names the two heavyweight prospects he sees as future boxing world champions

12 Sep

Anthony Joshua knows exactly what it takes to make it all the way from being a highly touted prospect to unified world heavyweight champion.

The Brit won Olympic gold at London 2012 and, despite all the hype and pressure, won the IBF belt in 2016, WBA belt in 2017 and WBO belt in 2018.

Anthony Joshua is a former unified world champion looking to regain his titles

It may have all come crashing down with defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr last time out, but AJ is still in a great position to predict who will soon follow in his footsteps.

When asked who of the current crop will become champions, Joshua told the Pound For Pound Podcast: “In the next five years? In the heavyweight division? Joe Joyce and Tony Yoka.

“Because they’re Olympians, gold and silver medallists.”

Joe Joyce beat Bryant Jennings last time out
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France’s Tony Yoka won gold at Rio 2016
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Tony Yoka beat Joe Joyce in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics and both men have since turned pro.

Yoka is 6-0 (5 KOs) at 27 years old and is now having to regain momentum after a one-year ban for missed drugs tests.

Joyce is 10-0 (9 KOs) and at 33 has been moved faster than most in the early stages of their careers.

Time will tell whether Joshua’s prophecy regarding the pair will come true, with plenty of other promising heavyweights such as Daniel Dubois, Filip Hrgovic and Efe Ajagba also waiting in the wings.

Joe Joyce vs Bryant Jennings RESULT: ‘Boring’ Brit criticised by some fans after unanimous decision victory

14 Jul

Joe Joyce came in for some criticism from boxing fans after his unanimous decision victory over Bryant Jennings on Saturday night at the O2 Arena.

The Olympic silver medallist moved to 10-0 and claimed another notable scalp early in his career, but was taken the distance for the first time in what turned out to be an underwhelming affair.

Joe Joyce comfortably won by decision
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On paper the fight promised so much and it even started brightly as Jennings hurt Joyce with a huge body shot in the opener.

The Brit responded by pressuring the American and forcing a high tempo throughout the first three rounds, which were entertaining.

However, the pace soon slowed and Joyce grinded out a victory despite Jennings also experiencing his fair share of success.

The London crowd was subdued by the final bell and the scorecards were read out 118-109, 117-110, 115-112 in favour of the hometown fighter.

Joyce’s work rate caused problems for Jennings
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Post-fight, Joyce admitted: “It was very hard, he caught me with a very good body shot early on, I wasn’t ready for it.

“Big respect to Bryant Jennings, he’s a tough, tough fighter, very experienced and he really tested me.

“I’m used to getting them out of there earlier, it’s a bit of a mistake.

“I used my experience and my toughness to pull through.

“That’s what these kind of fights are good for, to teach you a lesson.”

Jennings hurt Joyce to the body
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Despite his positive outlook on the contest, Joyce still received some criticism from observers on social media.

You can read a round-up of the reaction below.

 

 

Boxing news: Dillian Whyte hits straight back at Deontay Wilder, Joe Joyce reveals interesting Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua story

4 Jul

Here is a round-up of the best of today’s boxing news…

Dillian Whyte blasts back at Deontay Wilder

Whyte wrote in his talkSPORT column: “I see the pathetic, cowardly Deontay Wilder has been spouting nonsense once again.

“He has turned down multiple career high paydays to fight me in the past and now he is trying to cover up his cowardice with bull**** and lies…

“He is desperate to avoid facing me and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has already pleaded with the WBC to give him a franchise belt for the United States or even Alabama so that he can be heavyweight king in his own little, yellow castle.

“I am coming for you, Deontay, and when I catch you I am going to hurt you.”

READ FULL STORY

Dillian Whyte’s war of words with Deontay Wilder rages on

Joe Joyce recalls shock Ruiz Jr sparring story, which suggested AJ would KO him

Joyce explained on the talkSPORT Sports Breakfast: “I thought he [Joshua] would dispatch him quite easily because Ruiz was up in Big Bear [California] where I was training with Abel Sanchez.

“He was sparring with Charles Martin who Joshua flattened to get his first world title.

“I didn’t really think too much of Ruiz and he didn’t want to spar me!

“I don’t think his fitness was there because he could only do roughly two rounds with Charles Martin! And he didn’t want to spar me.

“I didn’t really think he could do it.”

READ FULL STORY

Joe Joyce didn’t see positive things from Andy Ruiz in sparring

Anthony Crolla gives fascinating insight into fighting Vasyl Lomachenko

“Did I see any weaknesses? Honestly no I didn’t,” Crolla told Sky Sports.

“I didn’t land enough. I remember landing one decent shot and it was the worst thing I could have done because he went through the gears a little bit then.

“When Lomachenko went through the gears, it was a horrible feeling because it was a bit like ‘I can’t really do owt here. I’ve got to wait for him to stop and then try and do something.’

“Sometimes you’ve just got to be brutally honest and he was just levels above.”

READ FULL STORY

Vasyl Lomachenko knocked out Anthony Crolla in four rounds
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Dillian Whyte tells Joseph Parker to get in line

Whyte wrote in his talkSPORT column: “After beating Alex Leapai on the weekend, Joseph Parker called me out for a rematch. He said he knows he can beat me despite the fact I beat the hell of him when we fought in July 2018. He’s crazy.

“It wasn’t even a close fight – I bashed him around, beat him up and knocked him down twice. I did that despite going into the fight with a bust hand and a bust rib. He had his chance and he didn’t want it enough.
“He just needs to get in the queue and wait, man. There are more relevant guys I need to be fighting like Wilder and Fury once I’ve dealt with the dangerous Oscar Rivas on July 20, in my next fight at London’s O2 Arena.”

READ FULL STORY

Whyte beat Parker by close decision last July
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Joe Joyce EXCLUSIVE: Anthony Joshua conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr didn’t want to spar me and struggled to do rounds against Charles Martin

4 Jul

Joe Joyce has exclusively told talkSPORT a surprising story about Andy Ruiz Jr’s sparring and training preparations, following his upset win over Anthony Joshua.

The Mexican-American heavyweight stunned the boxing world by knocking AJ out on June 1 at MSG with Joyce more shocked than most.

Joe Joyce will face Bryant Jennings on July 13 at the O2 Arena
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Britain’s ‘Juggernaut’ has spent plenty of time working with AJ as part of the Team GB amateur setup in the past and also witnessed Ruiz sparring at his old training camp in America.

From his experiences with both men, he quickly made his mind up about who would win.

Joyce explained on the talkSPORT Sports Breakfast: “I thought he [Joshua] would dispatch him quite easily because Ruiz was up in Big Bear [California] where I was training with Abel Sanchez.

“He was sparring with Charles Martin who Joshua flattened to get his first world title.

Andy Ruiz Jr is now the unified heavyweight champion
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“I didn’t really think too much of Ruiz and he didn’t want to spar me!

“I don’t think his fitness was there because he could only do roughly two rounds with Charles Martin! And he didn’t want to spar me.

“I didn’t really think he could do it.”

 

As it happened, Ruiz got up from a third round knockdown to floor Joshua four times and cause the seventh-round stoppage.

There have since been multiple conspiracy theories suggesting ‘explanations’ for the result, and Joyce admits that he doesn’t quite know what to make of it all.

“I saw his fast hand speed on the pads and stuff, but I was very shocked that night.

“I thought maybe Joshua was out of the ring for too long and he was a bit rusty.

“Or the New York crowd got to him, I don’t know what happened.”

Joe Joyce EXCLUSIVE: ‘I don’t really like boxing, but I enjoy doing it’ and his dream to become world champion in the next six months

22 Jun

Joe Joyce has all the tools to become a world heavyweight champion, no question about it.

At just over 6ft 5in with a wealth of amateur pedigree that includes numerous medals, he has all the attributes and experience necessary to create some noise at the top of the division.

Joyce is 9-0 (9 KOs) and a rising star of the heavyweight division after a stellar amateur career
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With nine fights and nine wins via KO to his name, Joyce has now signed with Frank Warren to try and get the big fights he needs to get into the title reckoning.

His first step towards that goal will come in the shape of Bryant Jennings at the O2 Arena on July 13 on a card that features fellow heavyweight stablemates Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman going at it.

However, it was a far from conventional start for Joyce in boxing. He was a relatively late bloomer by all accounts. talkSPORT caught up with the Juggernaut to learn more about the Olympic silver medallist.

“I got into boxing roughly aged 22,” Joyce started. “I went down to my local gym and spoke to a trainer who said I should start going to a keep-fit class on Wednesdays and then after a while, he asked me to come back for the boxing sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

“So I did that alongside the keep-fit class during the summer off university and when I went back to uni, I did an exchange over in America. I carried on doing fine art there and when I came back, I did my dissertation at Middlesex Uni and instead of going to my graduation, I already had flights booked to China. So I went to China and I was doing Shaolin kung fu in a Shaolin gym. But then after all of that, I finally came home and decided to really knuckle down on the boxing.

“I got to a level where I was boxing at the under 20’s novice ABAs – I won that. I had a friend who was training me since I was 18 to do athletics and he was from Cuba, Juan Hernandez Pinada, a hurdler, who told me I should go to Cuba because that is like the cradle of boxing.

“So I went and stayed with his brother for three weeks and after that I entered the main ABAs and won that with the skills I had picked up. I then fought in the GB tournament and managed to get selected following a trial and went on to win various medals at different tournaments, won Commonwealth gold and I was able to stay on until Rio where I picked up silver.”

Joyce has all you could wish for, but this is far from a lifelong odyssey for the 33-year-old. His interest in boxing only really began when he realised he was quite good at it.

“I was never into boxing. I’m not really into boxing now, but I enjoy doing it. As far as heroes go, I didn’t really have any but everyone has heard about Muhammad Ali and he was kind of my mainstream hero anyway,” Joyce explained.

“It wasn’t until I got into boxing properly that I started looking at other boxers. Like I learned about Teofilo Stevenson out in Cuba, Joe Louis, then to modern day like Floyd Mayweather, Gennady Golovkin and Vasyl Lomachenko – all highly skilled.”

Joyce lands a sickening left hook to Joe Hanks

As an athletic guy, Joyce had the attributes and size to be decent in any field he set his mind to. Still, only choosing to don the gloves aged 22 meant he didn’t get into the pro game until he was 32. He’s 34 in September.

As a result, he can’t afford to have the patience his stablemates Dubois and Gorman could have if they wanted to. Joyce has got the guts to go for broke.

“I played every sport going as a kid. I was good at most, but didn’t excel at anything until I started boxing.

I’m not taking 10-20 learning fights. I’m more jumping in at the deep end, getting the fights that are progressing me in the rankings and getting good names on my record. I’m not doing a Lomachenko with a title shot in my debut fight or anything like that but he had over 300 amateur fights and I have decent pedigree, too.”

Next up is former world heavyweight title challenger Bryant Jennings in what will surely be Joyce’s toughest test to date, and that’s not lost on the London-born star.

Joe Joyce won the last of Team GB's 67 Olympic medals when he took silver in the super heavyweight boxing
Joe Joyce won the last of Team GB’s 67 Olympic medals when he took silver in the super heavyweight boxing

“I know about Bryant Jennings. I’m still looking at his stuff, but he’s only lost to Luis Ortiz, Wladimir Klitschko and Oscar Rivas, the latter of which was a close one. So there all good names and it’s going to be a close one, just depends who is the better man on the night.”

Joyce started his career being promoted by former heavyweight world champion David Haye and had a pitstop with American Al Haymon before finding his way to Frank Warren. Joyce explained the reasoning for teaming up with the legendary British promoter lies in his ambition.

Joe Joyce teaming up with Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions
BT Sport

“I’m with Frank Warren to get in the ring with the biggest names possible and get where I need to be. I want to get to a world title. Hopefully, before the end of this year or the beginning of the next year, I’ll hold a version of a world title. That’s my aim.

“Facing the winner of Gorman and Dubois is an option, it’s a big option. If the money is right I would definitely consider it. It’s a big fight. But, being mandatory for the European title and WBA (regular) belt, those are the titles that I want. I’ve got good options.”

Frank Warren COLUMN: ‘I first heard about Daniel Dubois when he knocked Anthony Joshua out – him and Nathan Gorman can crash heavyweight division’

20 Jun

Heavy Duty goes down on July 13 at The O2 Arena and we’ve got the best crop of promising heavyweights not just in Britain, but the world today.

Daniel Dubois faces Nathan Gorman and Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce will do battle with former world title challenger, Bryant Jennings.

Boxing fans will have seen Tyson Fury dominate Tom Schwarz at the weekend, while Anthony Joshua reigned as a world champion for years and Dillian Whyte is another name discussed in and around the big fights. But Dubois, Gorman and Joyce all have what it takes to crash that party.

Two of the brightest young heavyweights in the world will battle it out in London next month
Frank Warren Promotions

As far as Dubois and Gorman go, one of them has to lose but that does not mean they both can’t go right to the top.

Look at when James DeGale fought George Groves early in their careers – they each went on to become world champions. We also made Chris Eubank Jr and Billy Joe Saunders early on and both of those men have enjoyed titles and big-time fights.

This would by no means be the end of the road for Dubois, Gorman or Joyce if they didn’t get the win but two of them – or even all three – could find themselves ranked in some organisations’ top fives with a few more victories in 2019.

Dubois is still only 21 years of age. I first heard about Dynamite when I was told an 18-year-old lad had knocked out Anthony Joshua. This was in 2016, the same year AJ became a heavyweight world champion. Dubois was a boy and he knocked out a man in Joshua – a six foot six man at that!

The British heavyweight title will be on the line when Dubois and Gorman meet
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We’ve all seen that you don’t need to be chiselled like an Adonis to be a heavyweight champion – Fury and Andy Ruiz Jr prove that. But Dubois has terrific size, incredible power and he’s learning all the time. He only had seven senior fights as an amateur.

On the strength of that, I didn’t think too much when I first laid eyes on Gorman. However, trained by Ricky Hatton, this boy has the skills and desire to go a long, long way. He wants this fight with Dubois and not many people are clamouring to take on a beast like him. That says a lot about him.

He’s 16-0 with 11 knockouts to his name so he has some power in his hands, too. At six foot three and only 22 years old, he’ll give you problems.

Then you’ve got Joe Joyce, who has all the pedigree in the world, going up against a seasoned campaigner in Jennings. He’s a bit more experienced at 33, but he’s only had nine professional fights. He’s got nine knockout victories, mind you, and gold medals at Commonwealth and European Games, on top of his silver at the Olympics.

Joyce is 9-0 (9 KOs) and a rising star of the heavyweight division after a stellar amateur career
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He’s ambitious, too. His team feel like he’s ready to challenge Anthony Joshua right now, but there’s no rush in my mind.

Providing Joyce comes through his fight against Jennings, facing the winner of Gorman vs Dubois is another huge domestic fight waiting to happen. And we’ll make it.

There’s also the option of Dillian Whyte. He’s floating around on the outskirts – like the fella with his nose pressed up against the window looking in – and I don’t know whether he’s going to get a world title shot or not, but I would fancy any three of these young heavyweights to fight him next. That’s how confident I am in these lads.


TYSON FURY SHOWED HE IS THE HEAVYWEIGHT KING

What a night it was in Vegas on Saturday. Tyson Fury boxed marvellously well against Tom Schwarz and cemented his status as the number one heavyweight in the world.

Fury knocked out Schwarz in the second round in Las Vegas
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Tyson was out for three years and had two easy fights after making his return to the sport in 2018 – which was understandable for a guy who had lost 11 stone in just seven months. Then he fought Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion, while still having to lose weight and what he was doing was training to lose weight rather than training to have a fight. Despite that, he put on a stunning performance and got robbed against Wilder – we all saw what happened.

We subsequently did the deal with ESPN, which has given him a lot of strength at the negotiating table. Since he beat Wladimir Klitschko, I have felt he was the best in the world. He’s come back to that, but everyone saying he’s number one now were saying Anthony Joshua was number one at that time.

Tyson was in fantastic shape against Schwarz and put on a great show in his debut fight in Vegas. Schwarz has been dismissed as an easy opponent by some but this is a guy ranked two by one organisation and six by another. The German went in there unbeaten and ready to fight but he got totally outclassed. When Tyson performs like that, who is going to be able to give him a problem? Imagine he had fought Wilder in that condition.

Fury celebrates with his team after his impressive Vegas debut at the MGM
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We’re all working to make the rematch with Wilder happen. Tyson will fight again in New York in September, early October. But then we want the Wilder fight. The American has got Luis Ortiz next, which should not be a hard fight for him. Hopefully he gets through that and we can make the fight everybody wants to see in 2020.


ANTHONY JOSHUA SHOULD AVOID REMATCH WITH ANDY RUIZ JR

I always knew Anthony Joshua had weaknesses that could be exploited, I just didn’t expect Andy Ruiz Jr would be the man to do it.

What happened is exactly what I thought would happen if AJ got in there with Tyson or Wilder.

Joshua has agreed an immediate rematch with the Mexican-American, but I don’t think that is a good move for him.

Joshua was stopped in the seventh round by Ruiz Jr in a stunning upset
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Ruiz Jr will have a proper 10-12 week camp this time and won’t be taking the fight at five weeks’ notice. He’s got AJ’s number. He knows he can not only hurt Joshua, but he’s taken his best shot and got up pretty comfortably.

In the wake of AJ’s loss, he’s no longer in the top three in the world. Fury is obviously number one. Wilder with the WBC title would come next. You then have to put Ruiz Jr in third given the world titles he possesses. It gets really hard after that.

Joshua probably comes in at four just ahead of Dillian Whyte. Then it’s the next level coming through – like Joyce, Dubois and Gorman – and I think they’re going to get in among the best very quickly.

Tickets for ‘Heavy Duty’ featuring Daniel Dubois vs Nathan Gorman for the vacant British Heavyweight title, plus Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce vs Bryant Jennings are on sale now. The show also features British Middleweight champion Liam Williams. who clashes against France’s former European champion Karim Achour for the vacant WBC Silver middleweight crown. Super-flyweight sensation Sunny Edwards meets Mexican Hiram Gallardo for the vacant IBF super-flyweight title. WBO super-featherweight champion Archie Sharp risks his crown against Jordan McCorry. Returning after an impressive debut is Kent bantamweight Dennis McCann. Hamza Sheeraz, Mark Chamberlain, Jake Pettitt, Louie Lynn, Mickey Burke Jr and Florian Marku add to an exciting line up and tickets are available via AXS.comEventim and Ticketmaster.

Josh Taylor and Billy Joe Saunders results: Two new British world champions crowned

19 May

Josh Taylor and Billy Joe Saunders both became new world champions on Saturday night.

The ‘Tartan Tornado’ claimed the IBF super-lightweight belt – his first world title – with a unanimous decision win over Ivan Baranchyk, while BJS picked up the vacant WBO super-middleweight strap, having previously also held the middleweight version.

Josh Taylor has won his first world title in just his 15th fight

In Glasgow, Taylor endured a tough start against Baranchyk as the Belarusian’s rough, come-forward style presented problems for him.

However, in the middle rounds he began to take control and established this by putting his opponent down twice in round six.

Baranchyk battled back resiliently and refused to fold, though Taylor outclassed him in the end and was awarded a 117-109, 115-111, 115-111 points win to take his opponent’s IBF world title.

Taylor has made it to the WBSS final

“It’s a dream come true,” said Taylor post-fight, “And the new. That sounds brilliant.

“I was pretty comfortable in there. Good, easy peasy. I’m absolutely over the moon.”

He will now progress to the World Boxing Super Series tournament final and face WBA champion Regis Prograis in a unification later this year.

Meanwhile at Stevenage FC’s Lamex Stadium, Saunders comfortably outpointed Shefat Isufi.

The contest was extremely one-sided except for one moment in the sixth when the overmatched German opponent stunned the hometown Brit with a right hand.

Other than that, Saunders dominated to claim the WBO super-middleweight title and become a two-weight world champion.

Billy Joe Saunders is now a two-weight world champion

“He caught me with a good shot,” said BJS after the win, “It just makes you aware.

“I haven’t been in a meaningful fight for 14 months.

“It was what it was. My boxing ability will always take me further in the sport.”

Joyce will return on July 13

On the undercards, Japanese pound-for-pound star Naoya Inoue blasted out Emmanuel Rodriguez to take the IBF bantamweight title.

He will now face WBA champion Nonito Donaire in his World Boxing Super Series tournament final.

Elsewhere, Joe Joyce moved to 9-0 with a third-round stoppage win over Alexander Ustinov.

Joe Joyce vs Alexander Ustinov officially announced for Billy Joe Saunders undercard, May 18 in Stevenage

2 May

Joe Joyce is keeping active and will return to the ring against Alexander Ustinov on May 18 at Stevenage FC’s Lamex Stadium.

The bout is set to mark the beginning of his new relationship with promoter Frank Warren, who is looking to build up a meeting between Joyce and Daniel Dubois/Nathan Gorman later this year.

Joe Joyce beat former world champion Bermane Stiverne in his last fight

Billy Joe Saunders will headline the show at Stevenage’s home ground against Shefat Isufi, with heavyweight chief support earlier in the night.

Joyce’s opponent Ustinov is a giant 6ft 8ins Russian who has lost his last two fights to Manuel Charr and Michael Hunter.

The Olympic silver medallist is now 8-0 (8 KOs) as a professional and will share a big show with fellow rising heavyweights Dubois and Gorman on July 13.

Joyce said: “I could have waited until the big fight night on July 13, but I wanted to keep busy.

“I didn’t want a journeyman, so we chose a 6ft 8ins giant and former world heavyweight title challenger Alexander Ustinov who’s only lost three times.

Alexander Ustinov will provide an interesting style for Joyce to handle

“He is big, awkward and he can punch. My aim is to take him out in spectacular fashion and put on a great show for the fans at the Lamex Stadium.”

Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois have reached an agreement to fight for the British heavyweight title this summer

24 Apr

Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois have reached an agreement to fight for the British heavyweight title this summer.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) announced on Wednesday that the two fast-moving prospect/contenders have agreed terms on a fight that was ordered last month.

Joe Joyce beat former world champion Bermane Stiverne in his last fight

Many fans were initially hesitant to get excited for the bout because, despite the BBBofC’s order, either man could pull out of the contest and opt to pursue alternative routes instead.

However, the bout has now been agreed and appears to be a reality, so long as Dubois wins his bout against Richard Lartey on Saturday night.

Daniel Dubois had limited amateur experience compared to Joyce

Joyce is 33 years old, but just 8-0 (8 KOs) in the professional ranks. He turned pro late after going to the 2016 Olympics and winning a silver medal in Rio.

In contrast, Dubois is just 21 years old, but now 10-0 (9 KOs) as a professional. He turned pro early, but has already made a big impression with his aggressive, all-action style in the squared circle.

BoxNation pundit Steve Lillis tweeted he’d heard the fight will happen on July 13 at the O2 Arena in London, though this is yet to be confirmed.