A fine art graduate away from the boxing ring, Commonwealth Games champion Joe Joyce has his eyes set firmly on creating his own collection in the years to come – this time in the form of medals won.
A member of Great Britain’s Boxing Development squad since 2012, Joyce claimed super-heavyweight gold in front of a packed SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow last summer.
It was one of five golds secured by England’s boxers at the Games with an additional bronze and silver not only taking their overall tally to seven but also top of the medal table for the sport.
The adrenalin would no doubt have been flowing for two-time national champion Joyce, who landed a number of heavy blows to his Australian opponent Joe Goodall in the +91kg final.
Such physicality is certainly a world away from Joyce’s love of fine art with painters such as Picasso and Vincent van Gogh just some of those to have caught his eye.
But while the London-born boxer would love to see his own paintings in an exhibition one day, for now his attention is firmly on matters in the ring.
Joyce picked up his second stoppage victory of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) season last Thursday when he dominated Mohammed Grimes during the British Lionhearts’ 4-1 victory over the Algeria Desert Hawks.
And with Commonwealth gold already in his pocket, Joyce is hungry for more success on the big stage.
“I’m looking to remain top dog after winning gold at the Commonwealths, but my main priority is qualifying early for Rio 2016 through this competition,” he said.
“I’m of course confident about qualifying but I have to make sure I’m switched on, but I’m sure I will, I’ve got it in me and I’ve learnt from past mistakes.
“WSB is different though because it’s only one bout we’re training for at a time, it’s also an extra two rounds so we do a bit more in the gym to prepare.”
“Fighting and training regularly is ideal. You can see your opponent before the fight as well, which helps.”
Joyce made his WSB debut in the 2012/2013 season with the British Lionhearts and was one of the Italia Thunder’s international selections last season.
He is somewhat of a WSB veteran with an impressive record of nine wins in ten contests, although he believes his previous experience of the competition helped him on the road to Commonwealth success.
“It was a big help having already done WSB, preparing me for the new amateur rules, fighting without head guards,” he added.
“It’s a very steep learning curve and it got me a chance to get in the Podium Squad.
“Training every week, I improved massively and I got my first taste of fighting with no head guards and going the five rounds.
“I’m representing GB this time, I enjoyed my time with Italy but it’s so much better representing your own country.”
© Sportsbeat 2015