Not just your average Joe: Commonwealth super-heavyweight star Joyce outlines Olympic hopes

Standing at 6ft 5in, and weighing in at 17st, Joe Joyce is a mountain of a man.

His success in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where he won gold in the super-heavyweight division, has marked the Londoner out as one to watch.

Those who watched Joyce breeze his way to gold in Glasgow would have noticed his supreme agility, stemming from a youth spent in martial arts.

“I enjoyed martial arts as a kid, and I used to spar at kickboxing, which I really enjoyed,” said the 29-year-old.

However when it comes to Joyce’s preferred fighting style, there is little doubt.

“I think boxing is the bread and butter of fighting,” he added.

As a Londoner who started boxing out of Earlsfield in Wandsworth, Joyce has a great affinity with his hometown.

“It’s great to box out of the capital,” he said.

“Especially boxing in York Hall for the Amateur Boxing Association, World Series of Boxing and Great Britain Amateur Boxing Championships.”

The ABAs, which Joyce won in 2012, count Audley Harrison, David Price, Dereck Chisora, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua as recent winners of the super-heavyweight division, so Joyce is in good stead.

“I want to be an Olympian first, then invade the pro-ranks!”

As well as success in the ABA Championships, Joyce won the Great Britain Amateur Boxing Championship in the same year, before winning bronze at the European Amateur Championships in Minsk a year later.

Comparisons with Joshua are inevitable, given their similar physique and power, and Joyce is quick to pay tribute to one of British boxing’s leading lights.

“Anthony Joshua and I started boxing at about the same time, and for the same amount of time, although he’s ahead of me, leading the way,” said Joyce.

Any plans to join Joshua in the professional ranks are on hold for the moment, although Joyce has already set out his next move – “I want to be an Olympian first, then invade the pro-ranks!”

Outside of the ring, Joyce is a talented painter, something he has looked to combine with his boxing idols in the past.

“My idols growing up were Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson,” he said.

“I painted their portraits at University, where I was studying fine art.”

Joyce gained a 2:1 in fine art, no mean feat given the hours of dedication needed to succeed in boxing.

So whether it is fighting inside the canvas, or painting on it, Joyce is set to continue making a major impact in British boxing, and with Rio 2016 in his sights, you would have to be a brave man to bet against him.

Image courtesy of WorldSeriesBoxing, via YouTube, with thanks

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