‘Something has gone to his head’: Joe Joyce reacts to leaked Anthony Joshua sparring footage

A recently-released video showed ‘AJ’ getting the best of his fellow former Team GB Olympian

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Thursday 18 August 2022 09:26 BST
Anthony Joshua reflects on Oleksandr Usyk loss and previews rematch

Joe Joyce has reacted to a recently-released video that shows Anthony Joshua getting the better of him in sparring, saying the footage only featured “AJ”’s “best bits”.

Joyce and his fellow former Team GB Olympian traded words on Twitter recently, with Joyce angling for a fight with Joshua, whose rematch with Oleksandr Usyk was in doubt at the time.

The unbeaten Usyk outpointed Joshua in north London in September to win the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles, with the Briton soon triggering a rematch to face the southpaw again. Usyk returned to his native Ukraine last month, however, to aid its defence against the ongoing Russian invasion.

Usyk, 35, has now left the country to begin training for a rematch with Joshua, with that bout expected to take place in June.

While the contest was up in the air, though, Joyce called out his compatriot, before footage of the pair sparring was leaked on Twitter. The 39-second clip mainly shows Joshua landing combinations while evading Joyce’s punches.

“He leaked, or his team leaked, footage of sparring – all his best bits,” Joyce told Metro. “Some of the sparring I have seen out there is from when we were drilling certain things. He can only throw left hooks, he can only throw straight arm shots, you can only throw bent-arm shots – certain scenarios like that.

“I don’t know what is going with Joshua these days, I haven’t spoken to him or seen him in a long time. Something has gone to his head. He seems to be a lot more vocal on Twitter and I guess I kind of took the bait.

“Let’s see what happens. I would love to fight him one day, and one day soon I hope. Let’s see how he gets on with Usyk and then we will be in touch. But if he loses to Usyk, I might think: ‘Why would I fight you?’ I want belts. He has already got the belts and lost them. I want to win the belts and keep them.”

Joshua won Olympic gold for Team GB at London 2012, before Joyce took silver in Rio four years later.

“Over the years when I was on the Team GB squad, I wasn’t a threat to him,” Joyce said. “As a pro, he was always up here and I was down there, so it was the case of catching up. Now we are on the same level.

“Now he is seeing me as that threat. Some of his recent performances haven’t been so good, maybe he is not being as corporate and he is letting his ego go.”

Oleksandr Usyk (right) defeated Anthony Joshua in September (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Archive)

During Joyce and Joshua’s Twitter exchanges, the latter referenced an amateur clash between the pair in 2011, saying: “I boxed Joe and stopped him in one round. I’d do the same thing today. Ain’t nothing changed.”

Reacting to Joshua’s words, Joyce told Metro: “He has always thought that, because he got that early victory when I was a novice. I wasn’t quite ready for that, everything seemed to be stacked in his favour with that fight.

“I had to box twice that night, he only had to box once – after watching me. I was making mistakes to be fair, I had just fought a southpaw so I was walking onto a few right hands. I got a 10 count and before I knew it the fight was over, I didn’t even know the rules at that point!

“For him to bring that up... he has held onto that, beating me in one round. Now that I am a threat to him, he wants to make everyone aware that he knocked me out in a round.”

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