Joe Joyce made it 13 wins unbeaten on Saturday night and by beating Carlos Takam ensured that ‘The Juggernaut’ keeps rolling towards a world title opportunity.
The 35-year-old’s chin was put to the test by the swinging Takam who looked like causing an upset such was the accuracy of his big punches which caught Joyce flush on several occasions.
In the end the Brit’s renowned whiskers and relentlessness proved too much for the veteran who had no answer for a 6th round onslaught which brought the fight to an end. WBO number 2 contender Joyce now awaits the winner of the September 25 clash between champion Anthony Joshua and mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk
Questions though remain about Joyce, his display and his world title credentials. Boxing Social’s John MacDonald, Craig Scott and Mark Butcher took to the floor to give their thoughts.
Boxing Social: What did you think of Joyce’s performance?
John MacDonald: “Others will likely disagree, but I thought it was a decent performance. Yes, Joyce got hit too much, but he played to his strengths, which are his chin and fitness. Takam won the early rounds but exerted a lot of energy in doing so. Joyce’s attributes don’t lend themselves to a ‘textbook’ style and as such his approach isn’t always the easiest on the eye, but it is effective.”
Craig Scott: “Joyce looked as I think most of us assumed he would: heavy-handed, extremely fit and intriguingly vulnerable. Takam, at 40, was a decent measuring stick but also didn’t really teach us anything we didn’t know. He looked a little less sharp than he was for Daniel Dubois, but still had too much for Takam. And so, he should outweighing the far smaller man by about two stone. Joyce never thrills me – but it’s becoming plausible that he poses real problems for Anthony Joshua.”
Mark Butcher: “I don’t think Joyce was at his best. He seemed rusty after eight months out of the ring and ate too many right hands. But his flaws never seem to matter. Like the original Terminator from the movie franchise, Joyce walks through everything. In a war of attrition, he will usually be the last man standing. He’s utterly relentless. If his chin holds up at a higher level, he will be a menace to most. I don’t think that the leading heavyweights will be worried about him yet (they will see his flaws first) but maybe they should be. Joyce looks beatable, but his suffocating brand of pressure will be very hard to resist.”
Boxing Social: Can he beat the elite at heavyweight and win a world title?
John: “He can win a world title, after all, Charles Martin won one. Will he win a world title? Harder to say, ultimately it will depend on if he’s in the right place, at the right time. At present, there are only two elite heavyweights: Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. I suspect Tyson Fury may be all wrong for Joyce, but I think ‘The Juggernaut’ gives Joshua one hell of a fight. AJ likes to dictate the pace; I feel Joyce could force AJ to work harder than he’d like to. Joshua has had stamina issues in the past, whereas Joyce can maintain his work rate late into a fight. Joyce made it to the top of amateur boxing, a sport where speed has traditionally been a massive advantage, despite having slower than average foot and hand speed. The pro game probably suits his unorthodox style more. I wouldn’t be surprised if he beat Joshua.”
Craig: “I don’t think anyone at heavyweight beats Tyson Fury on his best day, but Joyce could beat Joshua. His chin is solid, he’s relentless and maintains that marauding style throughout the fight, and his thudding punches damage every opponent. Time is no fool, though, and with the heavyweight division in a tangle, I think Joyce just misses the boat.”
Mark: “Joyce can win a belt of some description. That won’t require him beating the best in the division. It could be a vacant title or some form of WBA belt. I certainly wouldn’t back him against Fury, but the ‘Juggernaut’ would be a live dog against the winner of Joshua-Usyk. The Ukrainian might be too small, and the ceaseless Joyce could take Joshua into deep waters.”