Joe Joyce has told talkSPORT he would rather fight Tyson Fury than Oleksandr Usyk this year.
The WBO mandatory challenger is well positioned to clinch his world heavyweight title at the end of 2023, provided he wins his next fight.
Joyce will face China’s Zhilei Zhang in a fight almost guaranteed to produce fireworks on April 15 in London.
Two weeks later, April 29 in Saudi Arabia is the target date and venue for Fury vs Usyk, which will have all the belts on the line if finalized.
Giving his take on the match, Joyce told talkSPORT Fight Night: “I think Usyk is pretty hard to hit, he throws a lot of punches.
“So I think he’s going to cause Fury problems because I don’t think he throws that many shots.
“But he throws them fast and he’s long and he’s tall and he’s got footwork.
“So Usyk is going to dance around trying to gash him, and Fury is going to try to rough him up and do the big man thing, lean on him and stuff.”
Joyce is promoted by Frank Warren, who is also Fury’s British co-promoter.
On whether he’s been told a win over Zhang sets him up to challenge Fury’s winner against Usyk, Joyce said, “Yeah, so these fights are all happening around the same time, and then it has an opening. for a great summer fight.
“Hopefully Fury if he beats Usyk…
“Yes, I think Fury will definitely be the most exciting fight to watch.
“It’s the biggest fight, it’s the biggest fight, especially for the British fans.
“I’ve proven myself a bit with my last few wins and once I get Zhang out of there, it’ll set up this fight really well.
“And especially that Fury can switch [stances]it’s good to train with a lefty.
Finally, when asked if he believed he could become the first man to defeat the Gypsy King, Joyce laughed, “Well yeah, I’m not going there to lose!”
“I think it’s going to be a tough 12-round fight, but I’m going for the win, of course.”