Promoter Frank Warren says his heavyweight Joe Joyce cannot “sit around and keep waiting” for a fight with Oleksandr Usyk. If Anthony Joshua and Usyk, AJ’s WBO mandatory, do not make a deal to fight, then Joyce would be in line to fight Usyk for the vacant belt. But though no Joshua-Usyk fight has yet been announced it seems the two sides will come to a deal.
But either way, Warren said, Joyce has to “get out” and fight. It’s been seven months since “The Juggernaut” last fought, this his stoppage win over Daniel Dubois. Dubois has of course returned to action (wiping out Bogdan Dinu) and as Warren says, Joyce will be looking at Dubois and he will be feeling somewhat frustrated at his own inactivity. Warren, speaking with BT Sport Boxing, said Joyce will be back next month, either on July 24 or July 31. Carlos Takam and Tony Yoka are both possible opponents.
“If AJ vacates the (WBO) title, then Usyk will have to fight Joe,” Warren said. “But we can’t sit around and keep waiting, which we’ve been doing and doing. So Joe will fight either on the 24th or 31st of July and those two names (Takam and Yoka) are really on that list. He needs a big name, he needs to be in with a big name, and he needs to move forward. He’s gotta fight and he will be out next month.”
Joyce, 12-0(11) turns 36 in September and he doesn’t have the luxury of having time on his side. Takam, now 40 years of age and 39-5-1(28) has of course been in with everybody and he would make an interesting opponent for Joyce. As for Yoka, the 29 year old former amateur standout is just 10-0(8) as a pro and fight with Joyce would be a risky one for him to take; in fact, it would be a pretty bold move from both sides.
It seems Joyce will be facing a French fighter next. Whoever he fights next, it will be good to see Joyce back in action. After that big win over Dubois, Joyce has already been made to wait too long for his next bout.