Joe Joyce thinks Oleksandr Usyk will have 'no problem' travelling to UK as boisterous fans will make him feel at home
JOE JOYCE is happy to concede home advantage to Oleksandr Usyk in his own city if it means getting the fight on.
The 35-year-old Juggernaut’s masterful November win over ‘Dynamite’ Daniel Dubois elevated him to No 2 with the WBO and he is in talks over a spring fight with the undisputed cruiserweight king.
Promoter Frank Warren has opened up talks with the southpaw’s team but, without guaranteed big money from live gates, negotiations are expected to drag on.
But Usyk, who won 2012 Olympic gold in London, has not boxed in Kiev since 2015 and Putney man Joyce knows he will have no fear of signing up for a British battle.
The pair last clashed in 2013 at York Hall as amateurs and Joyce remembers the atmosphere Usyk fans created in the 1,200-seater hall for his loss.
Joyce said: “The WBO now has him as No 1 and me as No 2 so it is the natural progression that we fight each other.
“Especially if Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are working on fighting each other, probably a couple of times.
“The WBO is backing it, they want to make the fight and the fans want to see it happen.
“I know Usyk has a lot of support in the UK and he has never been afraid of travelling.
“I remember fighting him in the World Boxing Super Series in East London and it felt like I was in the Ukraine.
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“It seems like every Ukrainian based in the UK comes out to support their guy when they compete so, if fans are allowed in by the time we meet, the atmosphere will be great.
“His fans bring drums, they sing and shout so I am sure he will have no problem fighting here.”
Dubois revealed last week he has split with trainer Martin Bowers, to rebuild his career with Mark and Jimmy Tibbs.
Following the spiteful build-up to the clash that ended with Dubois surrendering with a cracked eye socket, Joyce could have rubbed salt into DDD’s wounds.
But he only wishes the best for his former foe. Joyce said: “He is young and he will come again.
“If his appetite to keep training and learning and improving is still there, then he will be chasing down world titles again soon.
"He didn’t do a lot wrong, and felt his power, but I had more stamina to get the win.
“We had our differences, we settled them and now I wish him all the best.”
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