Joseph Parker was undeterred and filled with unbridled confidence heading into his heavyweight scrap against Joe Joyce this past weekend.
By all accounts, Parker (30-3, 21 KOs) knew good and well that the relentless pressure and perpetual engine of his man would be a handful. However, with the WBO interim crown on the line, the 30-year-old Samoan believed that he was more than capable of sullying his man’s record.
In the early goings, a seemingly fresh Parker bounced lively on the balls of his feet as he landed countless blows on the plodding Joyce. Still, in spite of his success, Joyce’s pernicious knockout power and rough and rugged style took their toll on Parker. As a result, the former Olympic silver medalist registered a jaw-dropping victory in the 11th.
Having been in the ring with the cream of the crop, including Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte, and Andy Ruiz Jr., Parker takes a moment to ponder how Joyce stacks up to the rest of his competition. After much deliberation, the former WBO belt holder comes to the realization that despite facing the best of the best, Joyce stands out.
“Joe Joyce is right at the top,” said Parker during an interview with iD Boxing. “The pressure, the punches, the determination just to keep pushing, just respect for what he showed.”
With what could be viewed as the biggest win of his fairly young career, Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) has successfully placed himself amongst the heavyweight division’s elite. Standing at the very top of Mount Everest, however, is WBC belt holder, Tyson Fury.
An unmistakably acrimonious Fury watched from his ringside seat this past Saturday afternoon, as Parker crumbled underneath Joyce’s consistent work ethic. By and large, considering his current standing amongst every sanctioning body, Joyce finds himself in a favorable position. Still, regardless of his lofty standing, Fury believes that he has bigger fish to fry.
Following his sixth-round drubbing against Dillian Whyte earlier this year, Fury has played the cat and mouse game with retirement. Though he continued to leave fans guessing, Fury has ultimately decided against truncating his career. Most recently, Fury is ostensibly attempting to publicly negotiate a heavyweight showdown against Anthony Joshua.
But, in any case, if contract talks continue to stall, Joyce would welcome an all-British showdown against the WBC heavyweight champion.
Admittedly, taking into account their close bond, Parker acknowledges that his opinion on their possible bout would be heavily skewed. Nevertheless, although the highly ranked contender is picking Fury to win, Joyce’s relentless pressure and will to win would result in a fan-friendly fight.
“Listen, there’s no point in asking about Fury because we’re very close and I back Fury to win the fight. But it would be an interesting fight.”