Unbeaten British heavyweight hope/contender Joe Joyce has been compared to one of the greatest, strongest and hardest-hitting heavyweights in boxing history by his trainer Abel Sanchez. Sanchez, who is excited about how far Joyce, still only 7-0(7), can go, told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports that in his opinion Joyce is “going to be a George Foreman type of fighter.”
The comparisons stem from the fact that, like “Big George,” “The Juggernaut,” as 2016 Olympic silver medal winner Joyce is known, is not too sprightly on his feet, but that he hits like a mule, is very strong physically and can overwhelm his opposition with brute strength and sheer brutality. Joyce, a huge guy at 6’6” and around 260 pounds or more, is bigger than Foreman – but can he be even half as successful?
Sanchez, along with promoter Richard Schaefer, believes so:
“He’s going to be a George Foreman type of fighter,” Sanchez said yesterday. “Foreman was not a Sugar Ray Leonard or a Lennox Lewis-type of guy. He was very crude but very strong with a great presence. I think that’s the kind of fighter Joe Joyce is going to be. He’s going to be just like George Foreman. That jab he has is so strong, and his right hand, wow. Even though they don’t seem to be that fast, they seem to land and when they do, they seem to discombobulate your senses. With his presence and his size, he’s going to be hard to handle and hard to hit. So I think he’s a George Foreman clone. I honestly believe that.”
High praise indeed, especially coming from someone as knowledgable and respected as Sanchez. The knock of Joyce is his age, and at 33 time might not be on his side. Foreman was crude, yes, but he did learn, in his mid-20s, to shorten up his punches and he was also a master at cutting off the ring. Can Joyce, who turns 34 in September, refine his craft and add little nuances to his game? And as we know, Foreman was blessed with an awesome chin. Joyce has yet to prove the sturdiness of his chin in the opinion of some.
We might get further answers about how far Joyce can go on Saturday night, when the Brit faces former champ Bermane Stiverne. Blasted out in one quite pathetic round by Deontay Wilder in his last fight, Stiverne has publicly apologised for his non-effort that night and the veteran insists to anyone who will listen that he will beat Joyce and then get right back in the hunt for a world title.
The young George Foreman would in all likelihood have blown even an in-shape Stiverne away quite quickly (remember his great KO’s over Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and others!) and if Joyce can get rid of the former WBC champ in double-quick fashion, maybe those Foreman comparisons will be seen as more deserved in the eyes of the fans.