Joe Joyce escalated his war of words with Anthony Joshua on social media as he labelled the heavyweight as ‘a glass cannon’ – after the former world champion claimed he would stop him in one round.
Heavyweight Joyce has been talking up a possible fight against Joshua because his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk is now on ice amid Russia’s ongoing conflict against Ukraine, with Sweden’s Otto Wallin also in the running.
But after the pair were mentioned as potential contenders to face Joshua on Twitter, the man himself responded, pointing out he had already fought Joyce in the amateurs in 2011 – with the fight being waved off in the first round – and the Watford-born star claimed the same would happen again today.
‘I’ve shared this ring with most people you see in the heavyweight division today,’ Joshua initially posted last week. ‘I boxed Otto Wallin twice as youngsters and I boxed Joe and stopped him in one round. I’d do the same thing today! Ain’t nothing changed.’
Joyce did not take too kindly to Joshua’s bold prediction and accused him of ‘having a meltdown’, goading him about losing his world titles to Usyk and his high profile rise to the top of the sport.
Joshua replied to Joyce by simply writing: ‘It took you five days to come up with this,’ but the heavyweight contender hit back by claiming Joshua had ‘ducked’ a challenge to fight him this year.
‘Btw I told you 5 days ago let’s get it on my yout! Check your Twitter. You ducked it,’ said Joyce.
With many boxing fans calling for the pair to face each other in the ring as an interim fight while Usyk comes to terms with the Ukraine conflict – he has joined the Kyiv Territorial Defence to help defend his country, potentially risking his life – Joshua responded to one post by saying ‘do you really think I wouldn’t fight Joe Joyce?’.
Joyce then said: ‘Let’s Go, My Yout! Let’s do it in Nigeria!’, before posting a mock-up picture of himself next to Joshua under the Wembley Stadium arch and writing: ‘Two GB Lions in an all British Heavyweight Showdown! This fight would be massive. I’m highly ranked and undefeated. Let’s Get It!’
Joshua is looking to bounce back in his career after being outclassed by Usyk in October, losing his IBF, WBO and WBA world titles in the process. He has since regrouped and hired a new lead trainer – Angel Fernandez – to lead his camp.
Not many had given him hope of beating Usyk after the one-sided nature of their first fight, but it looks like he could now be given a warm-up fight to boost his confidence.
Should he face Joyce, however, it would be no easy contest – with ‘The Juggernaut’ unbeaten in 13 professional fights – 12 of which have come by way of knockout.
Joshua now has two defeats on his record after Usyk added to Andy Ruiz Jr’s shock stoppage in 2019, though promoter Eddie Hearn is still plotting dangerous and lucrative bouts for his prize fighter.
Last week he said he wanted Joshua to face Deontay Wilder – who is also coming off a defeat after he was stopped by Tyson Fury for a second time – and said the fight would be even bigger than one against Usyk.
He told iFL: ‘I don’t think Usyk right now is thinking about fighting. He’s definitely not thinking about fighting Anthony Joshua. What I said was, we are taking the fight with Usyk. We don’t want any other fight.
‘But, if he needs some more time – until September, October – we will fight in the interim. AJ wants to fight in the end of May, first week of June.
‘AJ talked about Deontay Wilder. If you said to AJ right now, who do you want to go for, I think he would say Wilder.
‘It’s a big fight. It’s not an interim fight is it. Let’s be honest, it could be a bigger fight than Usyk. He has no fear of fighting anyone.’