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Joe Joyce picks Joshua to beat Takam

Anthony Joshua

By Scott Gilfoid: 2016 Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce is picking Anthony Joshua to take care of business this Saturday night in his title defense against Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs) in their fight at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

(Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)

Joyce, 6’6”, expects Joshua to get Takam out of there quickly and with ease when he squares off with him. Joyce knows what it’s like to be inside the ring with Joshua, as he sparred with him in the past, and he’s rumored to have knocked him down.

Joshua, 27, has had almost no preparation to get ready for the 6’1 ½” Takam, because he’s a replacement opponent selected by the International Boxing Federation to replace the injured Kubrat Pulev, who suffered a shoulder injury recently and wasn’t able to go through with the right.

Takam has been on standby for the Joshua fight since the fight was announced, so he’s had weeks o get ready for his size and fighting style. It’s a big advantage for Takam in this fight because he’s going to be completely ready for Joshua’s fighting style.

“It’s going to be a Josh win,” said Joyce to IFL TV in predicting a victory for Joshua over Takam next Saturday night in Cardiff. “I think he obviously needs to do what he does best, and he’ll probably take him out with ease,” said Joyce.

Joshua supposedly has lost 10 to 15 pounds since his last fight with Wladimir Klitschko, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. This could mean that Joshua’s stamina will be improved or we might see the same stamina-plagued fighter that labored to an 11th round stoppage against Klitschko.

Before Joshua’s last fight against Wladimir Klitschko, I would have picked him to destroy Takam without any problems. But after the way that Joshua looked against Klitschko in gassing out and getting dropped in round 6, I give Takam a decent chance of winning on Saturday night. You have to believe that Joshua, with his 5” height and 2” inch reach advantage will have too much size for Takam, but I don’t know if that’s going to be enough.

Joshua’s gas tank is dreadful, and one of the worst I’ve ever seen from a heavyweight. Even George Foreman in his youth had a better gas tank than Joshua, and he was known for having stamina issues. Joshua is another level with his stamina issues. One reason for that is all the muscles he’s been carrying around. Joshua isn’t built for a sport that requires a lot of cardio like boxing. Joshua is built more for sports that require only short bursts of activity like the NFL. Joshua would be perfect to compete in a sport American football with the plays lasting only a matter of seconds followed by a minute break.

Joyce (1-0, 1 KOs) is coming off of a fine pro debut last Friday night in stopping British domestic level heavyweight Ian Lewison (12-4-1, 8 KOs) in the 8th round at the Indigo at The O2 in London, England. Joyce wore Lewison down, and dropped him in the 8th round. Joyce then took Lewison out with a follow up burst of shots. Joyce did a better job of stopping Lewison than Dillian Whyte did with his 10th stoppage last year. Joyce’s left hooks and powerful jabs made the fight easy for him, as he was able to control the action while rarely getting hit. Whyte took a lot of big shots against Lewison before finishing him in the 10th round on October 7, 2016.

“I heard them talking about Sam Sexton,” said Joyce about his next possible opponent on December 17. “It’s a lovely belt [the British heavyweight title]. So, I’d like to start my collection. I’ve done 15 WSB [World Series Boxing], which is like pro fights. So this fight [against Lewison] didn’t feel like a debut to me. It just felt like another day in the office. My hands know about it on his face. He was game, tough, rugged opponent and he gave all he’s got and threw some heavy shots at me. So, I had to stay on my toes, and stay switched on and stay focused. It was great to get back in the ring to get the rust out, and I can’ wait until the next one,” said Joyce.

Joyce looks like he could be a real force in the near future once he starts mixing it up with the top heavyweights in the division. At 6’6”, 253 pounds, Joyce has the size to dominate at heavyweight. His jab is out of this world, and he makes up for the flaws in his hand and foot speed with his strong fundamentals. Joyce has recently become more elusive with his footwork. He doesn’t move fast, but he’s able to switch directions to get out of the way of punches. A lot of big heavyweights can’t do that. Joshua hasn’t show the maneuverability that Joyce displayed last Friday against Lewison.

Joyce’s right hand seemed to be injured with the way he rarely used it against Lewison. When Joyce did throw a right, he didn’t put much power on it. Joyce landed some right hands early, but then he completely stopped using that hand, which gave the impression that he had injury that got worse. The boxing commentators on TV didn’t even mention that Joyce wasn’t using his right hand. How could they not say something about it? That was very strange. Joyce was fighting with just one hand for the entire fight. It could have been a very easy fight for Joyce if he had the use of his right hand. You’ve got to give Joyce a ton of credit for fighting with just his left hand. Joyce’s right hand has always been a major weapon for him, but he couldn’t use it against Lewison. Joyce is going to need to right hand for him to beat the top heavyweights in the division. His left isn’t powerful enough for him to beat the top fighters with it.

“I think I’m there right now. I just need to build up and go through the ranking and take it from there,” said Joyce in talking about him being ready to fight the best domestic level fighters in the UK. “One fight at a time. I was just concentrating on Lewison for this one. I’m just waiting for them to name my next opponent, and then hopefully get the same result,” said Joyce.

Sam Sexton would be a good opponent for Joyce to fight in December. Sexton has good punching power, and he’s more of a two-fisted puncher than what we saw from Joyce in his win over Lewison. Joyce is going to need to get his right hand healthy if he wants to get past Sexton. That could be a difficult fight if all he has is his left for the entire fight.

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