Joe Joyce picked up the interim WBO heavyweight title on Saturday in Manchester, stopping Joseph Parker in the 11th round of a really good heavyweight battle between two legitimate contenders.
Joyce (15-0, 14 KO) has his sights mainly set on facing Oleksandr Usyk next, as Usyk holds not just the WBO title but also the WBA and IBF belts, but he says he’s also plenty up to take on Tyson Fury, who has the WBC title despite his supposed retirement, which comes with constant talk of whom he’s going to fight next.
On the win over Joseph Parker
“I’m just over the moon, it’s great, man! That was a tough fight. I got through it. I trained hard for this, so did Joseph Parker. I’m quite happy with my performance. I think I have to watch it back to see what I have to improve. I mean, I always take shots, but I’m exciting to watch, I guess.”
On what message he thinks he sent to Fury or Usyk
“I’m here. ‘The Juggernaut’s’ here, baby. [laughing] That’s enough talking. Slowly getting better, I hope! But yeah.”
On the finish of the fight
“What a tough guy! It’s hard to — I was hitting him with everything and, like, I saw the cut opening up and I thought maybe the ref might have a look at it, but he stuck in there. I was just, like, trying to knock him down — body shot after body shot, head shot after head shot. What a tough guy. A warrior. A lot of respect to him.”
On being told it was a left hook that finished: “Aw, yeah, sick. Yeah, I’ll have to watch it back.”
On whether Parker hurt him
“Yeah, there’s a few shots that, if I go back and try to remember — yeah, he’s a tough guy, and strong shots, as well. I really had to, like, dig deep and push forward, because he was really tough and fighting all the way to the end.”
On what he said to Parker after the fight
“It’s just respect. I could shake his hand now, because the fight’s over and we could be nice again.”
On what could come next
“I’ll fight Tyson Fury, no problem, but hopefully Usyk next. ... Usyk! Let’s get it on, my friend.”