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Exclusive: Buatsi backs heavyweight Joyce to go all the way

Phil Jay 31/08/2016

GB Boxing

Light heavyweight bronze medallist Joshua Buatsi believes Great Britain team-mate Joe Joyce has everything in his locker to make it to the top of the heavyweight ladder.

Buatsi, 23, cheered Joyce on as the 30 year-old seemingly did enough to win a gold medal on the final day of the Rio 2016 Olympics, only for the officials to favour Frenchman Tony Yoka instead.

Joyce took home a silver medal from what was a standout performance by the Londoner, and despite the judging controversy, Buatsi sees the budding artist as one to watch for the future.

“Joe can go all the way, man,” Buatsi exclusively told World Boxing News.

“Yeah, Joe Joyce has got one of the best chins around, I don’t know whether people have noticed. That’s the thing. Joe will literally take a shot and shake it off.

“He’s a big man and a tough man. He’ll take your shot and then it will be his turn to inflict any kind of pain on you, and he does it well.

“Joe’s been getting good sparring from Frazer Clarke who didn’t qualify because Joe did, but people should look out for him too as he’s another heavyweight people should watch for.”

On the overall judging in Brazil, Buatsi added: “As humans, we’ve all got different opinions. There was some scoring that if I was judging, I’d have given it the other way but I’m not that judge or referee and I don’t know what they are looking for or what they see.

“All I can talk about is my fights and I literally took the first two fights out of the judges’ hands. The third one I pretty much did the same but I wasn’t able to stop him even though I was quite dominant. The fourth one didn’t look that dominating so maybe that’s another reason why they thought, ‘oh, this guy’s not winning’ but I don’t know. Each individual has got their own section and ideas on what they think.

“From my point of view and personally, I thought Joe Joyce 100% won that fight as I was there watching it in the arena as well,” he stated.

Anthony Joshua is a shining example to Joyce of how far you can go following Olympic success as ‘AJ’ picked up a world title just two and half years on from ditching the vest and head guard.

Speculation continues to surround both Joyce and Buatsi as a run in the pro ranks seems the logical next step for both fighters, although the latter is rightly taking his time before making any final decisions on the future.