DEONTAY WILDER fears Joe Joyce more than any other boxer.
Wilder, 36, is back on the warpath after losing his WBC crown to Tyson Fury.
The heavyweight ace made up for two successive defeats against the Gypsy King by beating Robert Helenius with a first-round KO in New York on Saturday.
Wilder is now on the hunt for a new opponent, and one name mentioned is fallen British superstar Joshua.
He surrendered his belts to Oleksandr Usyk last year before losing August’s rematch in Saudi Arabia.
And AJ is also hoping to land a big-money fight after seeing a bout against Fury fall through.
Ruiz Jr, who inflicted Joshua’s only other pro defeat, is another thought to be in the running for Wilder.
But trainer Malik Scott has instead identified Joyce as Wilder’s biggest threat.
The 37-year-old is the WBO interim heavyweight champ after KO’ing Joseph Parker last month.
Joyce also boasts a 100 per cent professional record despite his age.
And Wilder believes he poses a bigger threat than either Joshua or Ruiz Jr.
Scott told Vegas Insider: “At the top level of the division there are not many fighters I’m interested in fighting.
“Joe Joyce is a much better fighter for us concerning entertaining fights than Andy Ruiz. Ruiz would be more marketable because he’s a former heavyweight champ.
“But Joyce is a much tougher opponent than Andy Ruiz is. Joyce would beat Ruiz easily.
“When I think of Joe Joyce I think – how many could he take?
And if he can take the hardest puncher in the history of this sport over and over again and not be dazed, which is almost humanly impossible – then obviously he’d be the toughest one.
“Joshua is the easiest for Deontay out of the three. I think Joyce is a much tougher fighter than AJ is.
“His engine is stronger, the punches he takes, he’s awkward, his style is deceiving. AJ is a bit predictable, especially now.
“Joyce is more imposing, he’s a much more meaner pugilist too but sometimes meaner gets you clipped when dealing with Deontay.
“I just feel Joyce is one of the best heavyweights in the world right now and he’s a force to be reckoned with.”
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