In addition to being an unbeaten heavyweight contender, Joe Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) is also an artist. This is a painting he made commemorating his knockout win over current WBA interim champion Danial Dubois last November.
“It was a turning point for me, where I went from an underdog to pretty much a fully fledged prospect,” explained the 35-year-old, who returns to the ring against Carlos Takam at the SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday night. “It was a fight where everyone thought I was going to lose and even get knocked out in the first few rounds.
“I proved a lot of people wrong and won a lot of people money for Christmas. It was less pressure and the heat was on Dubois. I’ve been in a lot bigger fights, the Olympics for instance, with a lot of people watching me, so I am used to the pressure. I just get on with it and perform on the night.
“The painting definitely reflects my moment, but I don’t know if it is quite finished yet. I look at it and think I could do more detail, but then I might lose some of the freshness of it. Maybe I have captured it,” he wondered, before telling the process of how he went about capturing the defining point of the fight.
“I just printed off an image, but I didn’t have a particularly good picture because it was from a clip of the fight and it was a bit pixelated so I couldn’t get all the detail I wanted. It does get to the point when you can overdo a painting and it is quite good to know when to stop, otherwise you can ruin the essence of what you are trying to paint.
“I can push my work to being almost photo realistic by painstakingly painting, but it just takes so long and you can get bored of painting the same thing. More recently I have preferred to work it all out in one sitting.
“You don’t want it to be too perfect or you might as well just blow up a photograph.”
This isn’t Joyce’s first venture into personal portraits and it almost certainly won’t be his last.
“The last time I did a self-portrait was my first year of university and I had some massive canvas that one of the students in the third year helped me make. It ended up being so big that it was wider than my outstretched arms and almost as tall as me.
“I will do one for the world title, for sure.
“The thing is, with boxing and painting, it takes time and you have to work at your skills.”