Joshua touts Joyce as future opponent

Anthony Joshua has suggested that fellow Olympic medalist, Joe Joyce, could be his next opponent if all goes to plan against American Jermaine Franklin this Saturday in London.

The former two-time world champion told the media during this week’s fight build up “Joe Joyce interests me the most.” Later adding. “I like the Joe Joyce fight, it’s one that interests the people and Joe Joyce is from the same country as me, so it makes sense.”

Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs), who goes to battle with China’s, Zhilei 'Big Bang' Zhang at the Copper Box Arena on April 15 obviously welcomed the news.

“It’s good that Joshua’s finally mentioning my name now," commented Joyce to the Sun.

“I thought he might have thrown his phone in the Hudson river after he lost in New York and stopped replying to my messages.

“I have a proper fight in two weeks against someone that he didn’t want that smoke with and backed away from - a fellow 6ft 6in Olympic silver winner. He’s fighting someone without that pedigree, who again looks about a foot shorter than him.

“ I saw AJ and Eddie (Hearn) promise that the winner of Franklin and Whyte last November was going to get this AJ fight and they’ve gone with the geezer who lost!

“But if we both come through I would love that fight in the summer. Two of the best in the UK going at it. The winner fights Tyson Fury! But I’m just not sure he really wants it. It’s an easy fight to make - my management and his management know each other well; and I would imagine Frank and Eddie and BT/DAZN would combine on it no problem. British boxing needs these kind of fights - no more messing around.

“So I’m up for it, no problem, but I expect them to find an excuse. And will probably back out when it actually comes time to sign the contract. I don’t think that AJ wants a tough opponent like me next.

"He may talk about tough fights against me and Fury, but he’ll probably want to fight someone he’s already beaten like Dillian Whyte. I think he feels the need to rebuild his confidence before he gets Juggernauted.”

The main hurdle will be if Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn can work together to get his one signed, if both fighters are successful this month. Recent history has seen the rival promoters come together on many fights, if not personally.