Carlos Takam and his team were left rueing what they felt to be an early stoppage in the French-Cameroonian’s heavyweight clash with WBO No.2 contender Joe Joyce at Wembley on Saturday night. They believe the former heavyweight title challenger deserves a rematch.

The battle-tested Takam certainly fought with ambition and caused problems early with his swarming approach and hurtful right hand. As ever, Londoner Joyce proved hittable but absolutely relentless, walking through everything before overwhelming the tiring visitor with a volley of blows in the sixth.

Takam was on his feet, but crucially not throwing back when referee Steve Gray intervened. It looked a touch early, but at that point the fight had seemingly swung inexorably in Joyce’s favour after a defensively porous showing in the early going.

What made the stoppage rankle was that this was the same referee who threw the towel out of the ring when British fighter Lewis Ritson was being absolutely battered by Argentine Jeremias Ponce last month. The stoppage wasn’t unfair on Saturday night, but lacked any consistency.

Takam, of course, felt aggrieved by the intervention and believed Joyce was punching himself out. “Joe Joyce was punching at me yes, but I see that he was getting really tired, so I tried to keep my hands up, that was my strategy, to come back after he was tired and put him out,” said Takam.

“[The referee] stopped the fight and I asked him why? Why? I used my experience, I know what I am doing, but he stopped the fight.” 

Takam’s promoter Joe Deguardia, the CEO of Star Boxing, also disputed the end of the fight.

“He was alert. You could see in his eyes he was aware of what was going on, and was defending himself,” argued Deguardia. “While certainly a factor, it’s not just about whether a fighter is throwing punches back.  When you have an experienced veteran fighter like Carlos, who is clearly winning an important heavyweight fight, it’s important to get it right.

“The referee must also know who is in that ring, his acumen, experience, basically his ring generalship.  These are things that must be taken into consideration in order to make the right call.  Unfortunately for Carlo’s tonight, we believe the wrong decision was made and that he was alert and defending himself while waiting to launch his counter-attack at the right precise moment.  We think a rematch is warranted.”

Main image: Queensberry Promotions.