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‘Don’t let it go to your head!’ – Joe Joyce sends message to Team GB hopefuls aiming for boxing glory in Tokyo
Caroline Dubois, Cheavon Clarke, Charley Davison, Galal Yafai, Ben Whittaker, Karriss Artingstall, Frazer Clarke, and Lauren Price are all chasing gold over the coming weeks with Team GB insiders quietly confident of matching the medal haul of five from London 2012.
Joyce was part of the team that won three medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, clinching silver after a controversial defeat to Frances Tony Yoka in the super-heavyweight final.
The Putney fighter turned professional a year later and is in action against Carlos Takam at Wembley Arena on Saturday having also been named the mandatory challenger for the WBO title set to be contested by Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk in September.
Ahead of fight night, Joyce recalled his final days in the Olympic village in Rio before his campaign began five years ago.
And the 35-year-old has urged the current crop to fight off last-minute nerves by reminding themselves that they belong at this level.
What I found was when I was in the village, you get the experience of being around the village and all these other athletes and stuff and the competition starts and you’re like ‘ahh, I’m going to have to box in front of the whole world!’ Joyce said.
Then you get nervous. What they just have to remember is that it’s still the same event that you’ve been doing all these years in boxing.
You’re still going to fight the same kind of opponents you’ve been fighting anyway. [My advice would be] don’t let it go to your head.
Frazer Clark is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Joyce, Joshua, David Price and Audley Harrison and claim a medal in the super-heavyweight category.
The 29-year-old has had a long wait for his opportunity, with Joshua selected ahead of him in 2012 with Joyce getting the nod in 2016.
And Joyce is backing is former amateur opponent to finally deliver.
I believe he’s got the abilities, Joyce said.
He’s hungry and he’s waited long enough. I think his time is now and he’ll be looking to deliver and perform.
JOYCE vs TAKAM TOMORROW, 7:15pm, BT SPORT 1 HD