The 51-year-old sportsman hasn’t fought since his showdown against Roy Jones Jr. in Madison Square Garden 15 years ago but has never been tempted back because he knows his body isn’t up to it.
Asked the closest he’s come to returning, he told Boxing News: “I’ve never been close. The closes I’ve come is I go to the gym, I train for a couple of weeks, lose a bit of weight, and my hands would be f***** and my back and I’m thinking, ‘Mate, come on, you’re too old for this.’
“This run I used to do – where I lived was my camp; there’s hills everywhere; fresh air – I’d be halfway up and I’d be like, ‘F***, I can’t do this any more?”
And Joe has never had a reason to return to his unbeaten career.
He added: “To come back, what would I have to prove?
“You’re always going to get fighters come through.
“It’s a big deal to make money, but legacy was always my number one…
“People still talking is a great thing. That’s the one thing that mattered to me when I was boxing – legacy. Probably more than fame and money.”
By contrast, Roy fought again earlier this year at the age of 54 and while Joe enjoys seeing his final opponent back in action, he doesn’t always think it is a good move.
He said: “There’s certain things I miss from boxing but with Roy, he just loves to fight.
“As long as he’s not stepping too far ahead of himself and fighting proper fighters and getting hurt, that’s OK, but it’s not nice to see fighters keep going.
“Someone like Roy Jones – he’s such a legend, a great fighter, he could wipe the floor with nearly every fighter there is today.
“Everybody knows that and how great he was.
“But certain other fighters, it’s sad to see them keep fighting, because it’s a dangerous sport.”