Born to a Scots-born Irish father and a mother of Nigerian ancestry, Joyce grew up in London and studied at Elliott School, based in Putney. He took up boxing at the age of 22, injuries having curtailed his interest in track and field athletics, and joined Earlsfield ABC, based in Earlsfield, London.
Joyce won the super heavyweight class at the 2012 ABA Championships and 2012 GB Amateur Boxing Championships. He won the bronze in his class at the 2013 European Amateur Boxing Championships after getting KOd by defending Russian champion Sergei Kuzmin in the semifinal. At the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships he was KOd again, this time by unsung Algerian Hamza Beguerni.
He had success during 2015 and 2016 in the World Series of Boxing, and in April 2016 won a gold medal at the European Olympic trials to qualify for the Olympics. On 21 August 2016 Joyce won the silver medal in the super heavyweight class at the 2016 Summer Olympics, losing in the final, on a split decision to Tony Yoka of France. It was the final medal won by Team GB at the Olympics.
Joyce turned professional in July 2017 at the age of 32, signing with Hayemaker Ringstar. On 6 September 2017, an official announcement was made for the first boxing event which would take place at Indigo, The O2 arena in London on 20 October 2017. Haye confirmed that Joe Joyce would headline the card, making his debut against experienced former WBO Inter-Continental Champion Ian Lewison (12-3, 8 KOs). Joyce put on an impressive display in a hard earned victory. Promoter David Haye spoke to Metro after the bout stating he offered British heavyweight champion Sam Sexton a career-high payday to fight Joyce next, but hadn't heard anything back. He also offered David Allen a fight, who turned it down to rematch Lenroy Thomas. Haye hoped to get Joyce back in action on the undercard of his rematch with Tony Bellew in December 2017. On 2 November, Joyce confirmed that he would fight on the Bellew-Haye II undercard on 17 December. Two days later, British boxer Tom Little (10-4, 3 KOs) was announced as his opponent. The event was rescheduled to 5 May 2018. On 30 January 2018, Hayemaker Ringstar announced that Joyce would make his next appearance at the York Hall in London on 16 February against 25 year old Croatian boxer Rudolf Jozic (4-1, 3 KOs). On 3 February, whilst backstage at the O2 Arena in London for Lawrence Okolie vs. Isaac Chamberlain, Dereck Chisora met with Haye and Joyce, where Chisora revealed Haye had contacted his manager Steve Goodwin and offered £60,000 for him to fight Joyce. Chisora later stated if the money was right, he would fight Joyce on the Tony Bellew vs. David Haye II card on 5 May 2018. Joyce knocked out Jozic in the first round after landing a right hand to the head towards the end of the round. When the result was announced, the timekeeper included the 10-count, announcing the time of stoppage as 3 minutes and 6 seconds. After the fight, Haye stated a new six-figure offer would be presented to Chisora, which would see him earn around the same purse he received in his loss to Agit Kabayel. On 1 March, speaking ahead of his next fight at the York Hall on 17 March against Donnie Palmer, Joyce stated that Chisora had rejected the offer to fight him. Joyce knocked Palmer out inside the first minute of round one at the O2 Arena. On 24 March, after Chisora knocked out his French opponent Zakaria Azzouzi and then called Joyce and Haye over during his post fight interview with Sky Sports. Prior to calling them over, Chisora referred to Joyce as a Chihuahua. Chisora first asked Haye if he had confidence in Jocye and then stated, “In front of the British public on live television, I’ll make a deal with you right now: if he (Joyce) beats me you write me a cheque of £1, if I beat him you give me your purse against Tony (Bellew) and your TV rights.” Haye rejected the offer. Chisora then told Haye to not mention his name again. Haye told Sky Sports, “We offered him the same money he got for (Kubrat) Pulev, more money than he got for the European title, but you said no. Okay, we understand.”
|Professional record summary|
|3 fights||3 wins||0 losses|
|4||N/A||N/A||TBA||N/A||N/A||5 May 2018||The O2 Arena, London, England|
|3||Win||3–0||Donnie Palmer||TKO||1 (8), 0:38||17 Mar 2018||York Hall, London, England|
|2||Win||2–0||Rudolf Jozic||KO||1 (8), 3:00||16 Feb 2018||York Hall, London, England|
|1||Win||1–0||Ian Lewison||TKO||8 (10), 2:35||20 Oct 2017||indigo at The O2, London, England||Professional debut|