By Scott Gilfoid: #10 WBA heavyweight contender Joe Joyce (6-0, 6 KOs) is really impressed with the sparring that he’s done with former unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) in Big Bear, California. Joyce is now trained by Abel Sanchez, the same trainer that former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is trained by. Joyce says that Fury, 30, is “the most talented I’ve been in the ring with,” according to Michael Benson.
Joyce, 33, is getting ready for a potential fight against former heavyweight world title challenger Gerald Washington (19-2-1, 12 KOs) in December. That’s a big step up for the 6’6″ Joyce. Washington is just as big as Joyce, and he’s been in the ring with Deontay Wilder, Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller and Eddie Chambers.
“Just need confirmation to get this party started,” Joe Joyce said to Behind the Gloves about a fight against Gerald Washington. “I’m looking forward to putting on another explosive performance. Gerald Washington is a solid opponent, and he’s got a lot of boxing skills. He’s a good step up for me, and I accept the challenge and get in the ring to put on another great display. I like his style. Here in the U.S, I’ve done some work with Bermane Stiverne and Dominic Breazeale,” Joyce said.
Washington, 36, is coming off of a nice 10 round unanimous decision win over John Wesley Nofire last June. In Washington’s fight before that, he lost to Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller by an 8th round stoppage in July 2017. Washington came close to knocking out the 298 lb Miller in the 5th round after hitting him with a flurry of shots. Miller was within an eyelash of being knocked out in the round, but somehow he weathered the storm and was able to survive. It appeared that Washington got tired of punching the defenseless Miller in the head with punches, and that’s what saved ‘Big Baby.’ If Washington hadn’t gassed out, he would have knocked him out. That performance showed that Washington is a threat to the top heavyweights. In Washington’s 5th round knockout loss to Deontay Wilder in February of last year, he was doing well until getting caught in the 5th by a right hand from the talented Deontay. Washington was getting the better of Wilder at times in the first four rounds. Two of the judges had the fight knotted up at 38-38, 38-38 at the time of the stoppage.
“I’ve been lucky being on the GB team,” Joyce said. “I’ve had Frazer Clarke, Anthony Joshua, Daniel Dubois, Nathan Gorman, and even Lawrence Okolie stepped up as well. I had some good sparring there. I managed to work with Bermane Stiverne and Dominic Breazeale out here as well. I’ve sparred with all the top heavyweights, and fought them in the amateurs. I hear Lawrence Okolie and [Ivan] Dychko may pass through [Big Bear training camp]. We got amazing sparring up here,” Joyce said.
Joyce has packed on a lot of size lately, weighing in at 263 lbs in his last fight in stopping former cruiserweight Iago Kiladze in the 5th round last month on September 30. In Joyce’s previous fight, he had weighed in at 251 lbs for his match against journeyman Ivica Bacurin in stopping him in the 1st round last June. For the most part, Joyce had fought in the 250s since turning pro in 2017. But the added weight seems to have made Joyce a more formidable puncher. He looks like a young George Foreman now that he’s fighting in the low 260s. The weight is solid, and he’s quite powerful with his shots. Joyce’s hand speed isn’t great, but his shots are so heavy. He’s very much like a young Foreman. The difference is Foreman had a great jab and uppercut that he liked to use to win his fights. Joyce doesn’t have the same powerful jab as Foreman possessed, and he doesn’t throw a lot of uppercuts.
“He’s so skillful,” Joyce said about Oleksandr Usyk. “It was walk in the park for him at World Series Boxing. I think his toughest fight was against me, and I was really like a novice. It makes me cringe when I watch the fight back. I think he’d do well because he’s so skilled, but maybe in the late rounds, and the heavyweights manage to get their punches in, maybe if they get one on his chin, maybe he’ll get hurt. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll see if he can mix it with the big boys. I think it’s a good match-up,” Joyce said about Usyk’s fight next month against former World Boxing Council cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew on November 10. “I’d like to see Bellew win. You never know with Bellew. He might come through, but Usyk is so world class. Coming up from the amateurs, and a gold medalist, and he’s had all the experience in WSB and professional. He’s gathered up all those belts [at the pro level at cruiserweight] in the World Boxing Super Series. He’s on fire right now,” Joyce said.
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