Joe Joyce’s plans plunged into danger as ex-Oleksandr Usyk foe throws name into mix

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Michael Hunter and Joseph Parker have agreed to a fight over social media, putting Parker vs Joe Joyce in doubt. Hunter was set to face Hughie Fury on July 2 in a WBA eliminator bout at the AO Arena in Manchester, but the fight was cancelled after Fury pulled out due to illness.

Now, the American heavyweight has called out Joyce’s proposed future opponent for a dust-up this year. The call-out came after Sky Sports Tweeted a video of Parker training with the caption: “Smoke for hire. @joeboxerparker is ready and waiting for a heavyweight rival to step up.”

Underneath, Hunter wrote: “My Team let Boxxer know I was up for it.”

To which, Parker responded: “Your locked in to fight Hughie?”

Hunter then added: “Nope. Let’s dance.”

Before Parker rounded off the conversation: “No problem since @JoeJoyceBoxing don’t want £1.2m.”

Joyce and Parker were set to face each other in July but after Parker signed with BOXXER and Sky Sports Joyce’s promoter Frank Warren professed that the fight was ‘dead.’ When asked about the potential match-up during this week’s Joyce-Christian Hammer press conference, Warren said: “You’re flogging a dead horse. We’re talking about Saturday. Joe Parker’s not happening, end of story. He walked away and signed with Sky.

“It’s dead. He (Joyce) is the number one, not Joe Parker. Who gives a monkeys? He’s an opponent for us; he comes from New Zealand, with the biggest respect for people coming from overseas. He (Joyce) is the British guy; that’s all we’re interested in.

He wants the fight, it was there for him to have, and it still is, but it’s not going on any other channel, end of story. Let them get on with it. Obviously, they signed Joseph Parker to replace Anthony Joshua on Sky, and that’s their choice. We are where we are, and all he needs to focus on is one thing: Saturday night.”


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Joyce made a successful return to the ring on Saturday against Hammer as he stopped the Romanian gatekeeper to the body in the fourth round.  After a sluggish opening two rounds, Joyce came to life in the third, dropping his man at the death with a clubbing left hook.

An utterly exhausted Hammer managed to make his way back to his stool but looked extremely vulnerable when doing so. Sensing blood in the fourth, Joyce continued to ramp up the intensity as he landed a series of brutal body shots that sent his adversary to the canvas early. More targeted bodywork forced Hammer to take a knee on two more occasions before the fight was eventually waved off.

After the contest, a clearly delighted Joyce told BT Sport that he is ready for all comers and is hoping to face the winner of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk next.

“What a performance, I enjoyed it so much,” said Joyce. “I’m top level ready for the world stage. I’m ready for all comers and I’m looking to fight the winner of AJ-Usyk, maybe Tyson Fury. I’m at that level.”

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