JOE Joyce hopes to write his name in the boxing history books at the Rio Olympics, despite initially targeting Games glory through athletics.

The 30-year-old super heavyweight sealed his plane ticket to Rio last month by winning the European Olympic qualifying event in Turkey.

Having already won gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku, Joyce is one of the more senior members of Team GB’s boxing squad.

And the Londoner – who began at Earlsfield ABC in Wandsworth – was delighted to finally qualify for Rio after missing out on one of the automatic qualifying places on offer at the World Championships in Doha in October.

“It’s about time I qualified for Rio. I’m really happy with the team, there’s so many already qualified and it’s great to finally secure my place,” Joyce said.

“It’s a long-term goal to go to the Olympics, I initially planned to get there via athletics, but I found I improved much more in boxing and have been successful doing that.

“The experience of winning a medal there would be amazing.

“I am quite experienced myself now, I’ve won major medals at the Commonwealth Games and the European Games, and they’re essentially warm-up events.

“I already know what to expect and the emotions that come with it, but the Olympic Games is 10 times that, especially what it would mean afterwards.

“It would be great to represent the nation and go down in history.”

Joyce has drawn comparisons to newly crowned IBF World Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who also competed for Team GB in the super heavyweight class at London 2012 and went on to win gold.

In fact, Joyce defeated Magomedrasul Majidov in the final of the European qualifying event, who is the last man to beat Joshua at the 2011 World Championships.

But things could have been much different for all-round sportsman Joyce, who only began boxing at the age of 22 while he was studying at Middlesex University.

More than 60 per cent of gold medallists since 1992 having participated in BUCS sport, with 56 members of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics competing for Great Britain at the World University Games.

And Joyce recalled one of the moments where he realised that his future lay in boxing when he was competing at a BUCS Championships in athletics.

“It’s great seeing AJ do so well, he’s led the way and he’s a fantastic role model as well,” Joyce said

“I avenged his last defeat at the European qualifiers and he congratulated me on Twitter.

“I started off playing three sports at the same time growing up, rugby from the age of six, swimming and karate, which later changed to kickboxing.

“But it wasn’t until university age that I started training in athletics, I stopped playing rugby and was inspired to get to the Olympics.

“However I wasn’t getting the right times or the right distances and I was at university wanting to let some aggression out and start hitting a bag.

“Funnily enough when I did a trial for the Team GB squad in Sheffield I thought the place looked familiar, I did a BUCS university competition there in athletics and got a bronze medal in the shot put.

“I didn’t even get my medal, I was too busy upstairs watching the boxing!”

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. Supported by Deloitte, BUCS offers programmes to athletes from a grass roots level through to Commonwealth and Olympic Games hopefuls