It looks like the unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and heavyweight contender Joe Joyce are set to clash with each other before their respective fights this year.
No, the clash won’t be a professional bout, but in the gym in the form of sparring. The two former Olympic medalists have sparred multiple times in the past while being a part of Team GB’s amateur program.
Joshua won the Gold in the 2012 Olympics in Beijing while Joe Joyce won a Silver in the next Olympics in Rio.
“There’ve been many bruising sessions over the years,” Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said.
“Joe has been around for many years on the amateur scene. When AJ was coming through, Joe was one of the experienced guys and some of their spars have been fantastic.
“Obviously AJ went to another level, but Joe is still an outstanding heavyweight,” Hearn added.
Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) is set to face the IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev on December 12 this year. His last fight was a rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr., where he avenged his only loss and won his titles back.
Joe Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs) is scheduled to face fellow undefeated contender, Daniel Dubois. After the bout got canceled twice this year because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the date was finally decided to be October 24.
However, as the restrictions on gatherings did not ease up, the bout has been postponed again to November. As of now, the final date remains unclear.
With both heavyweights ready to slug it out in sparring, it will be interesting to see how “The Juggernaut” performs against an elite level boxer like Joshua. Although he has sparred with current WBC champ Tyson Fury in the past, the two champions have different styles.
As for Joshua, it will prime him for a big strong heavyweight like Pulev. Sparring different styles will also keep his timing right, as he will fight after an entire year. How will these sparring sessions help their overall game? Only time will tell.