By: Hans Themistode
Even with a world title opportunity ostensibly in his future, Joe Joyce refuses to sit idly by.
The heavyweight contender saw his ranking shoot up to number one in the WBO, mostly due to his recent run of big-time wins. After proving his doubters wrong by picking up the knockout victory against Daniel Dubois in November of 2020, Joyce followed that up with another impressive win. This time, at the expense of Carlos Takam.
The two clashed on July 24th, earlier this year at Wembley Arena in front of a jam-packed crowd. While the British native struggled early on, he would eventually end his night early, scoring the stoppage win in the sixth round.
Although Joyce could sit on his hands and wait for his mandated title shot, the former Olympic silver medalist would much rather keep his winning train going. With the division’s two belt holders currently on the verge of defending their titles in the next few weeks, Joyce attempted to lure former champion Joseph Parker to the negotiation table. Yet, with the former titlist scheduled to make a ring appearance against a familiar face, Joyce revealed that his team reached out to another highly rated contender but to no avail.
“That was an option,” said Joyce in reference of Parker during an interview with IFL TV. “Now he’s obviously going to fight Dereck Chisora. I think [Luis] Ortiz was mentioned but I’m not sure he wants the smoke. He didn’t want a war with the big juggernaut.”
Ortiz, 42, has been mostly quiet over the past year. The Cuban native saw his heavyweight title dreams go up in smoke courtesy of a Deontay Wilder right hand in November of 2019. Since then, Ortiz has made just one ring appearance, stopping journeymen Alexander Flores in July of 2020 in the very first round.
The tenuous effort of Flores gave Ortiz hope that he could make a quick turnaround since he sustained little to no damage. With that said, he continues to remain inactive on the sidelines.
In a perfect world, Joyce would be presented with a contract with Ortiz’s name printed on the dotted line. No matter the case, the 36-year-old contender will press on with his training in the gym in the hopes that he’ll return sooner rather than later.
“I’m just training and waiting on my fight date. I should be out before the end of the year.”