Joe Joyce is a heavyweight on the rise.
The hulking Londoner has knocked out 14 of his 15 professional opponents, including his last five. He delivered a breakthrough 10th-round stoppage of Daniel Dubois in 2020 and then topped himself in September, when he KO’d former champ Joseph Parker in 11 to climb the list of best big men.
Joyce is favored to remain perfect when he faces Zhilei Zhang of China on Saturday at Copper Box Arena in London (DAZN). If he wins, he’ll edge closer to a showdown with one of the champions or another top-tier opponent.
So where does Joyce stand in comparison to the more accomplished heavyweights as things stand now? Here’s a look at Boxing Junkie’s Top 10.
1. Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs)
No other active heavyweight can match Fury’s combination of size, ability, experience and resume. He’s the best of his generation.
2. Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs)
Usyk proved in back-to-back victories over Anthony Joshua that he’s no blown up cruiserweight. He’s the most skillful boxer in the division.
3. Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs)
Only Fury has gotten the better of Wilder. And the Briton had to get up from four knockdowns to do it. No one punches harder than Wilder.
4. Anthony Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs)
This ranking is based more on ability and accomplishments than current form. Joshua has many positive traits. Mental toughness isn’t one of them.
5 Joe Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs)
Joyce reminds us of George Foreman, not graceful but more skillful than is apparent and immensely powerful. He could succeed Fury and Usyk as king.
6. Andy Ruiz Jr. (35-2, 22 KOs)
Ruiz isn’t merely a guy who happened to upset Joshua. He has demonstrated over a long stretch that he’s a good all-around boxer-puncher.
7. Otto Wallin (25-1, 14 KOs)
Wallin is a clever, polished boxer whose only setback came in a competitive fight with Fury, although Fury had a bad cut. The Swede is capable.
8. Frank Sanchez (22-0, 15 KOs)
The Cuban doesn’t have the track record of others here but he’s working on that. In the meantime, his well-honed skill set has been impressive.
9. Dillian Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs)
Whyte is a distant fourth among British heavyweights but he has some notable victories and he can still punch. He just can’t win the big one.
10. Luis Ortiz (33-3, 28 KOs)
The Cuban has plenty left at 44, as he proved in a strong losing effort against Ruiz in September. He can box and punch. Only his legs are failing him.
Note: Unbeaten Jared Anderson (14-0, 14 KOs) is an elite heavyweight waiting to happen. He checks all the boxes except resume.