As part of a wide-ranging chat with unbeaten heavyweight Joe Joyce, he queries why Eddie Hearn is trying to make a fight between him and Filip Hrgovic
Joe Joyce is an intelligent, worldly man, a fine arts graduate capable of holding a conversation on many things. So we asked him a variety of questions ahead of his fight with Bryan Jennings on July 13 at the O2, including why Eddie Hearn suggested fellow unbeaten former amateur star Filip Hrgovic, who the Matchroom boss co-promotes alongside the Sauerlands, fight Joyce at this early stage of their careers.
This is Joe Joyce on…
Getting into boxing after karate and kickboxing
I always liked sparring in kickboxing and hitting bags, I think that’s what I was missing. When I started boxing it’s a really enjoyable thing, everyone training, skipping, roadwork, hitting bags, it’s all fun. You do pads and you’re learning, sparring as well, all things I really enjoyed. In a way, it’s more basic than martial arts because you just use your hands but it’s also more complicated and refined - you’ve got to think defence, use footwork, got to block - especially when you’re starting off.
His first ever fight, aged 23
I love winning and I like the adrenaline you get because of the crowd, and when you’ve got the opponent in front of you. My first fight, the opponent was a southpaw, but I didn’t realise until [Earlsfield head trainer] Sid [Khan] told me at the end. I was just throwing punches. I’m just comfortable in the ring now but it is a lot better when there’s a lot of support.
Why Eddie Hearn urged him to fight Filip Hrgovic on July 13
I don’t really know, he’s not even promoting him on his own, so who is Eddie to bring his name into things? It could be built into a lot bigger fight later; me fighting him now for both of us it’s a hard fight and it’s not gonna generate the income and excitement that it could do later.
His progress to 9-0 (9)
I’m moving quite fast. Each fight where I look good and I win, gets me closer to where I wanna be. I’m learning with every fight, if you look at my record I’ve got some good wins. I wanna win that WBA Regular belt preferably before the end of the year and that puts me in a good place. Because of my age  and experience there’s no point hanging around having 10 learning fights, I might as well get on with it. I’ll be 34 this September, I haven’t got too long left, another three-four years. I’m doing good, obviously a lot of boxers are boxing into their 40s so there is potentially a lot of time left.
It’s still on the backburner, I’ve been a bit lazy, I need to be inspired again. I’m quite happy just training, coming back and putting my feet up, but it takes more effort to make a piece of art. Boxing fills the gap, I’m creating different art but still on canvas.