Joe Joyce does not believe his November 28 showdown with Daniel Dubois is make-or-break – despite the fact he recently turned 35.
Time does not look to be on the Putney heavyweight’s side as he gears up for a mouthwatering domestic clash with Greenwich’s Dubois.
Both men are undefeated and a significant collection of belts – including the British, Commonwealth and European – will be on the line next weekend.
Dubois is only 23 and has plenty of time on his side to make a mark in the sport.
But Joyce, who did not turn professional until late in 2017 after an impressive amateur career for Great Britain, doesn’t subscribe to the view that a loss would be the end of the line.
“I don’t feel that old because I only started in the game at the age he is now, which is 23,” he said.
“I feel like I haven’t been in the sport that long and that I have quite a few years ahead of me.
“But, yeah, this is a big fight and it is a big ladder to the top or a snake where I would have to rebuild. So the loser will have to rebuild a little bit and Daniel has got time more on his side because he is a young pup who would definitely be able to come back.
“I’d be able to come back too, but I don’t plan to do that. This is my chance to show what I am made of and to progress to the next stage and get a shot to become heavyweight champion.
“That is the route I am going. My aim before was to get to the Olympics and win a medal, so I completed that, although it was meant to be the gold medal and that didn’t happen. As a professional I want to be world champion and this is the route I need to go down and Dubois is standing in my way right now.
Joyce is 11-0 with 10 knockouts. Dubois has a 15-0 record with only one of his bouts going the distance. It has all the ingredients to be explosive.
“I am not under any pressure because, according to the bookies, Daniel has already won,” said Joyce. “He has made a big name for himself and he has got the pressure to deliver.
“I don’t know why, but it is okay because it will be better when I beat him because I will take his scalp, how he has been built and take it further.”
PHOTO: KEITH GILLARD
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