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Joyce insists he’s ready for Usyk eight years on from “naive” defeat

Joe Joyce winces when he watches the video back.

Head static as he takes shot after shot from Oleksandr Usyk during his defeat to the Ukrainian superstar.

That was eight years ago in the World Series of Boxing at York Hall when Usyk won all five rounds of their catchweight contest.

Joyce can’t believe how naive he was when he looks back at the video nasty and insists he would be a different proposition for Usyk if their clash for the interim WBO heavyweight title comes off.

“Looking back, I can see all my mistakes, it’s terrible looking back at it,” he said.

“He was just slipping my jab and I just took all his shots.

Joyce says he’s improved hugely since his defeat to Usyk back in 2013

“I could have used the double jab. I had no head movement, I was just throwing out punches. I have a lot more finesse now, a lot more tools to hurt him with.

“It was such an exciting fight, but when I look back at it, I can see I was such a novice. I was absorbing punches by just taking them.”

Joyce’s development since 2013 has been marked and since turning pro in 2017 after claiming silver at the Rio Olympics, he has won the British, Commonwealth, European and versions of the WBC and WBO titles in just 12 fights.

His superb win over the previously-unbeaten Daniel Dubois, where he jabbed his head off, elevated him to world level and he insists he is ready for Usyk.

“I feel I have improved so much since then,” said the Londoner.

“He’s had to put on a bit more muscle and size for the heavyweights. That’s made him slower and that could help me.

The Londoner wants to fight Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua after Usyk

“My win over Dubois has put me in a very strong position. I could beat Usyk, have the WBO title and potentially fight the winner of Fury and Joshua.

“I always had confidence in my ability. I believe I will become world champion and it looks like that could happen pretty soon.”

Joyce, 35, has a Fine Art degree from Middlesex University and has been commissioned by Purplebricks to produce a painting to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their road to the Tokyo Games.

He loves to relax by painting and joked: “Instead of breaking Daniel Dubois’ eye socket, I’m making something nice for Tokyo!”

Joe Joyce has teamed up with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo by generating the same amazing home support as London 2012. Visit @PurplebricksUK on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube for details.




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