JOE JOYCE claims his wild uni days have helped him become British boxing’s best mature student.
The 35-year-old Juggernaut did not pick up a pair of boxing gloves until he was 22, long after he had enjoyed a debauched freshers’ week at Middlesex University.
The fine art graduate and talented painter hinted he was a bit of a ‘p*** artist’ during his carefree days on campus.
But with all that recklessness and snakebite out of his system, the heavyweight is now close to a world title shot.
Ahead of tonight’s Wembley Arena clash with Carlos Takam, 12-0 ace Joyce laughed: “If you have been boxing since you were a kid, then you get to 16 where girls and parties come about, you feel like you’ve had enough of it. So many throw it in at 16 because the distractions come in.
“I got all my distractions out of the way early, I got freshers’ week and all those shenanigans out of my system.
“At uni I had two sets of kickboxing gloves, so me and two friends used to spar at the halls of residence just for fun.
“That was long before I took up boxing properly and we were probably a bit drunk!
“But by the time I was 22, I knew who I was and what I wanted to do and this route has really worked for me.”
The misconception is that Joyce is a bit dull but engage him on topics that inspire him, like art or gaming, and the 6ft 6ins Londoner brightens up the room.
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Boxing and the miserable business and politics behind it bores him. And he even glazes over when reminded he is one win away from being the WBO’s mandatory challenger for a shot at Anthony Joshua.
When asked who he fancies after facing dangerous 40-year-old French powerhouse Takam — should he need to keep busy before a crack at AJ — he teased: “I don’t know, I have to rely on my team. I don’t really know much about boxing.”
Not bad for an A* student.
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