Tyson Fury, the WBC world heavyweight champion, has earmarked Joe Joyce as the leading contender in the division and said the Londoner deserves a shot at his title.
On Saturday, Joyce subjected former world champion Joseph Parker to a sustained assault and knocked him out with a tremendous left hook in the 11th round.
That victory secured Joyce a WBO interim title and earned him a place amongst the very best in the division. Tyson Fury, the unbeaten champion, has not only acknowledged that but declared Joyce the best out of all his rivals.
“I’ve had a lovely day of watching boxing and watching all the big fights and studying all the heavyweights and I’ve got to say that big Joe Joyce is the second best heavyweight in the world, behind myself and on his day, given his moment, who knows if he could beat me or not?” Fury said.
“I think we’ll have to find out one of these days.”
Fury has opened the door to a fight with Joyce, though it will be hard to make it before the end of this year.
The man from Morecambe intends to box on December 3 and has been in negotiations with Anthony Joshua. While Fury has publicly lost patience with those talks, Mahmoud Charr has also come into the frame as a potential challenger for him.
Eventually, the impressive Joyce will, Fury believes, be the best opponent for him.
“I’ve just looked at these prospects who are mandatory for the world title, [Zhilei] Zhang and [Filip] Hrgovic and everybody else, I’ve changed my mind and I think big Joe Joyce is number two heavyweight in the world,” Fury said.
He added: “And who knows if he’s number one? One day we’ll have to find out who’s better out of me and him.
“But at the moment I’m ruling the roost because I’m world heavyweight champion and he’s not.”
Joyce took to Twitter in reply to Fury’s video, saying “sign the contract, Big Boy!!”.
Fury responded by suggesting he needed to fight Oleksandr Usyk first, noting: “It’s not tour time big Joe I have to win undisputed first vs the middleweight! You also have to build yourself up to the big time!”