Joe Joyce believes he would ‘get to’  over 12 rounds if they fought as professionals. The pair squared off in a World Series of Boxing bout back in 2013 with Usyk coming away the victor via a wide points decision.

But nine years later, Joyce is convinced it would be a different story. “I think I would start to get to him,” Joyce told Sky Sports, “if I can keep the pressure up. He is a very skilful fighter, but at this level it’s all going to be tough from here on in.”

“This time I would be more prepared and have a proper training camp geared towards him. It’s over 12 rounds with smaller gloves and I’ve come a long way since then. It was a long time ago.

“It takes 10 years to reach sporting excellence. I’ve surpassed that and I’m still learning, so it would be a great fight over 12 rounds.”

The Cat has also shown interest in a contest against and is expected to be ringside for his October 15 return against Robert Helenius at the Barclays Centre in New York City. At 37 years old, Joyce doesn’t have time on his side and is keen to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible.

“If Usyk doesn’t want to fight me then he has to vacate the belt and then I get elevated to full champion. From there, I can defend the belt,” he added.

With negotiations stalling between Usyk and Fury, the WBO may order their champion to defend his title against Joyce before an agreement with The Gypsy King can be reached. If this does happen, Usyk will be forced to defend or vacate his strap adding further delay to the four-belt shootout.