MARTIAL ARTS master Joe Joyce believes his kung fu training will help him give Joseph Parker a belt on Saturday.
The Putney Juggernaut, 37, missed his own graduation and blew his final student loan payment to travel 8,000 miles and study at a Shaolin monastery in China.
Joyce – who studied fine art at Middlesex University and excelled in rugby and athletics as a youth – takes on New Zealand heavyweight Parker in Manchester.
And the winner will be in line for a world title at the WBO crown, currently held by Oleksandr Usyk.
After returning from another training camp in Las Vegas, the 14-0 pro – who was robbed of Olympic gold at the Rio Games in 2016 – told SunSport: “I have always chosen to traveling to train, I never feared it or walked away from it. .
“I went to China to do Shaolin kung fu right after I graduated. I actually missed the ceremony, so I never threw my hat in the air or wore the robe.
“I used my last student loan to fly to China and do four kung fu sessions a day for a month.
“It was a camp of foreigners who each had a trainer – we would run at 5 in the morning, then we would practice and then we would do technique, sambo or wushu. I had just started boxing at that time, so they complemented each other.
Joyce shared the incredible photos with SunSport but ruled out any potential big-budget MMA moves. He said, “I think I could do an MMA fight.
“My striking is good enough for a few fights against similar opposition.
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“But I should do a lot of wrestling and grappling training. And I don’t really want to ride with a big guy’s sweaty scrotum stuck to my forehead.
Computer game superfan Joyce is the antithesis of your usual talkative flashy fighter. He added: “I like to keep my personal life quite private. I don’t feel the need to share too much.
“My girlfriend might like the celebrity lifestyle more than I do or just the Chanel bags that go with it.
“The more interviews I do, the better I get.
“I’m getting more comfortable and confident and now I have to take my finger off and do more.”