Martial arts master Joe Joyce reckons an 8,000-mile trip for kung fu training will help him belt Joseph Parker
MARTIAL ARTS MASTER Joe Joyce reckons his kung fu training will help him belt Joseph Parker on Saturday.
The Putney Juggernaut, 37, missed his own degree and squandered his last student loan installment to fly 8,000 miles and study at a Shaolin monastery in China.
Joyce, who studied fine arts at Middlesex University and excelled in rugby and athletics in his youth, meets New Zealand heavyweight Parker in Manchester.
And the winner is up for a world title that will shoot up the WBO crown currently held by Oleksandr Usyk.
After returning from another training camp in Las Vegas, the 14-0 pro – who was stripped of his Olympic gold at the Rio 2016 Games – told SunSport: “I’ve always made the choice to travel for training, I have never feared or shied away from .
“I went to China to do Shaolin Kung Fu right after I graduated. I actually missed the ceremony, so I never tossed my hat or wore the dress.
“I used what little student loan I had to fly to China and do four kung fu sessions a day for a month.
“It was a camp of foreigners who each had a coach – we ran at 5 a.m., then did strength training, and then did technique, sambo or wushu. I had just started boxing at the time so they complemented each other.”
Joyce shared these incredible photos with SunSport but ruled out a potential big-money MMA move. He said: “I think I could do an MMA fight.
“My punch is good enough for a few fights against similar opponents.
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“But I would have to do a lot of wrestling and grappling practice. And I really don’t feel like rolling around with a big guy’s sweaty scrotum taped to my forehead.”
Computer game superfan Joyce is the opposite of your usual flashy, trash-talking combatant. He added: “I like to keep my personal life pretty private. I don’t feel the need to share too much.
“My girlfriend may like the celebrity lifestyle more than I do, or just the Chanel bags that go with it.
“The more interviews I do, the better I get.
“I’m feeling more comfortable and confident and now I have to pull my finger out and do more.”