JOE JOYCE is so eager to trash-talk his way into an Anthony Joshua clash he’s hired a speaking coach.
The Putney fighter might be No 1 with the WBO — but as Tyson Fury awaits the winner of Oleksandr Usyk’s AJ rematch on August 20, he faces a long wait for his title shot.
Joe Joyce’s trash talk is currently well behind his skills in the ring
The Putney Pounder has hired a speaking coach to sharpen up his trash talk
Joyce has set his his sights on a domestic dust-up with Anthony Joshua
Yet, after hopefully nailing Christian Hammer to the Wembley Arena canvas this coming Saturday, the next target is an all-English clash with his ex-pal and sparring partner.
Joyce, 36, told SunSport: “I’ve known Joshua for a long time and know he is a good guy and comes from a good place.
“For a long while, he looked unbeatable and then it all came crashing down with the Andy Ruiz loss — and that must have been hard to come back from.
“He won the rematch on the back foot and looked scared to get hit. He has a lot to prove.
“He has never reached out to me. I used to have his number and we’d catch up occasionally.
“But after the Ruiz loss, I tried to send him a nice message and I think he might have changed his number — or thrown the phone in the sea.
“I still want to see him fight Fury but I’d also like a chance to fight him, so, hopefully, he doesn’t retire before that.”
The pair did hundreds of rounds together at their old Team GB base before Joshua, 32, won gold at London 2012 and Joyce claimed silver at Rio 2016.
So few people are better placed to predict the outcome of their Saudi Arabian rematch.
Joyce only gives his compatriot slim odds of regaining his titles — making their clash more likely as Usyk and Fury decide who is undisputed king.
Joshua ditched mentor Rob McCracken for American Robert Garcia and Joyce said: “AJ has gone a bit odd more recently.
“He’s a bit of an odd guy — he used to be different.
“In sparring sometimes, he used to come toe-to-toe, tache-to-tache and swing bombs.
“It used to be very exciting and I used to really like sparring with him like that.
“But, all of a sudden, he started working on his technique and using his footwork, being out of range and stuff.
“He switched up his style a little bit and didn’t go gung-ho.
“Changing your trainer can be hard but it depends on how you are as a person.
Anthony Joshua will rematch Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia on August 20
“If Joshua can absorb all the new information and tactics then it could be fine.
“But it also can take time to adapt and incorporate into your sparring and fighting.
“I really hope he can win the rematch for British fans and for British boxing.
“Joshua has a chance. He showed how he can turn it around with the Ruiz rematch when he came in with some different tactics.
“He was competitive in the first Usyk fight and he has good power.
“So, if he can take it to Usyk like he should have done in that first fight, he has a puncher’s chance.”
So why is the 6ft 6in granite-chinned Joyce suddenly shooting from the lip?
He revealed: “I’ve got a speaking coach. He gives me some pointers and advice on what to do.
“It’s just a confidence thing so I have some stuff to practice.