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OPINION: Joe Joyce is the next best Heavyweight

Photo: The Guardian

The United Kingdom rules the heavyweight division in today’s boxing. All the world titles are held by British boxers, with Anthony Joshua alone holding the IBF, WBA and WBO belts and Tyson Fury holding the WBC and lineal titles.

In addition to that, the U.K. has seen top contenders and household names, such as Dillian Whyte, Dereck Chisora and Daniel Dubois emerge from the post-Klitschko era. Of these fighters, Joe Joyce may be the best heavyweight to come out of there since the aforementioned Joshua.

Joyce has exploded onto the scene since the 2016 Olympics, where he became a silver medalist. After going pro in 2017, he is now on a meteoric rise. Currently undefeated, Joyce has collected 12 victories while knocking out all but one opponent.

Joyce holds the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, signifying that he is the best boxer in the U.K. region. Unlike other regional titles, the Commonwealth belt holds prestige with U.K. greats, with fighters such as Lennox Lewis and Nigel Benn also holding the title in their respective divisions.

Joyce is also currently ranked 10th on The Ring Magazine’s heavyweight ratings, a division that is stacked with world class talent such as Andy Ruiz Jr, Deontay Wilder and Oleksandr Usyk.

Joyce’s rise through the ranks is impressive, but not just because he is undefeated. In fact, there are many club-level fighters that are undefeated, but they are not drawing nearly as much attention. What separates Joyce from other prospects is his résumé. In his short career, Joyce has stopped former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne, former contender Bryant Jennings and fellow UK prospect Daniel Dubois.

If you watch a Joe Joyce fight you can tell from the start that he has an awkward fighting style with movement that looks slow. Looks can be deceiving however, and Joyce has the gift to jab and the power to change the fight. With a 91% finishing rate, Joyce is a boxer-puncher. He sets up his power punches with jabs and combos that display his technical prowess.

At 35-years-old, time may not be on Joyce’s side, but his pure boxing skill may longate his prime years. Plus, with Joyce starting his pro career only four years ago, he has not accumulated that much damage which will help going into his late 30s and early 40s.

Two years from now, do not be surprised if you see Joyce in the top five of the heavyweight division fighting the likes of Joshua, Fury and Wilder.

Boxing fans, the “Juggernaut” is coming.

Joyce’s next fight is July 24, as he will take on former title contender Carlos Takam.

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