Boxing and painting aren’t an obvious match, but for 35-year-old Joe Joyce – unbeaten in 12 professional fights, and with an upcoming shot at a world title – art has been a lifelong passion. 

Joyce’s talents were recently put to good use, as he was one of three people chosen for Purplebricks’ Home Support campaign: to create artwork to inspire the nation, and the athletes, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. 

Men’s Fitness jumped on a quick call with Joyce late last week – here’s what he had to say…

My dad taught me how to oil paint when I was pretty young, and I did my first oil painting when I was seven.

I studied fine art at Middlesex University. It’s something I enjoy and I’m not bad at. I enjoy the creativity.

For the Home Support commission, I was thinking of different ideas, and eventually got let loose in a studio – ‘Inspiring Pride’ was the result. It’s an image to reflect the power of Team GB.

Growing up, I did a lot of swimming, athletics and martial arts.

When I was at uni, I started missing that combat side of things – hitting a bag and getting some aggression out. I always wanted to try boxing, so one summer I signed up to Earlsfield Boxing Club.

Since then I’ve been slowly building my name, and I’ve amassed quite a collection of belts and medals already from the amateur ranks, but the ultimate goal now is to win a world title.

RELATED: 15 Minutes With…Boxer Lawrence Okolie

15 Minutes With...Heavyweight Boxer Joe Joyce | Men's Fitness UK

Joyce lands a punch on Daniel Dubois on his way to winning the WBC Silver heavyweight title

As soon as you get in that ring and start sparring – or even being on the bags – it’s another kind of fitness.

You might think you’re fit, but as soon as you spar someone you’ll realise where you’re at!

If anyone at home wants to test their fitness, go to the gym and see how many three-minute rounds you can do on the bags, with one-minute rest in-between. See how you get on [laughs]. That’s the true test.

But there’s also the technique involved. You have to worry about foot placement, where your hands are, moving forward, moving forward and punching, blocking, swerving.

The longer you’ve done it, the basics become second nature, and you can refine and advance things. It’s all about split-second decisions. There are many attributes that make a boxer.

I’m a bit of a gamer, so wherever I go I take my gaming laptop and play games to pass the time.

Just before a fight, I’ll watch my opponent and see what he does well, what he doesn’t do well, and how I can capitalise.

15 Minutes With...Heavyweight Boxer Joe Joyce | Men's Fitness UK

Joe Joyce was commissioned by Purplebricks to create artwork to boost home support for Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics. Joe’s painting features on For Sale and For Let boards across the UK.