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Joyce takes on Takam in stay-busy fight on July 24th

Image: Joyce takes on Takam in stay-busy fight on July 24th

By Charles Brun: In a huge step down in class, Joe Joyce (12-0, 10 KOs) will be facing 40-year-old former heavyweight world title challenger Carlos Takam (39-5-1, 28 KOs) next month in a scheduled 12 round main event at The SSE Arena, Wembley.

It’s unclear why Joyce’s promoter didn’t match him against Tony Yoka, Filip Hrgovic, or Joseph Parker. Those guys would be worlds better than the old-timer Takam.

Heck, even Hughie Fury would be preferable to Takam for Joyce to use as a punching bag for 12 rounds. At least if Joyce fought Hughie, the fight would attract some attention and have a little drama in terms of whether he could catch up to the light-hitting runner.

Takam comes into the fight with the 6’6″ Joyce with a four-fight winning streak going for him against second-tier opposition.

Unfortunately, Takam doesn’t have enough left in the tank to beat first-tier fighters, so he’s at the stage where wins are hard to come by when he’s facing first-tier opposition.

Image: Joyce takes on Takam in stay-busy fight on July 24th

Joyce will have his WBO mandatory spot on the line against Takam, but there’s not much worry about him losing that, apart from perhaps an injury.

At this point in Takam’s 16-year professional career, he’s played out, and not the fighter he was in his prime seven years ago.

Even in Takam’s best years, he struggled in failing to beat Mike Perez, Alexander Povetkin, Gregory Tony, and Joseph Parker. Takam lost to Povetkin, Tony, Parker and fought to a draw against Perez.

In 2017 and 2018, Takam was stopped in consecutive fights against Anthony Joshua and Derek Chisora.

Joyce is coming off of a big 10th round knockout win over previously unbeaten Daniel Dubois last November.

That was the fight in which Dubois dropped to a knee and quit after getting jabbed on his puffed-up left eye. Joyce picked up the vacant EBU heavyweight strap as well as the British and Commonwealth belts.

It would have been nice if Dubois’s promoter had thrown him back in the ring with Joyce so that he could try and avenge his loss. I mean, can you imagine Lennox Lewis walking away from a knockout loss?

Lewis wouldn’t have gone along with the program of not fighting a rematch with someone that beat him. You have to wonder about Dubois’s decision not to try and force a rematch with Joyce because that’s a hard fight to walk away from, isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter who Dubois beats. He’s going to be forever haunted by his loss to Joyce until he gets in there and at least tries to avenge it.

As the WBO mandatory, Joyce is waiting to get a title shot against champion Anthony Joshua. It could be a long wait for Joyce, though, as Joshua is defending against his current WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk in September. After that, Joshua won’t need to defend against WBO mandatory for another year.

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We’re probably looking at 2023 before Joyce finally gets his mandated title shot, and who knows who will be the champion by that point. It could be Joshua, Tyson Fury, or Deontay Wilder.

If Joyce is lucky, Joshua will be the last man standing and will defend against Joe in 2023. By that time, Joyce could be 37 or 38-years-old. He’ll definitely not be a spring chicken, will he?

“It is a testament to Joe’s character that he’d take a fight as difficult as this when a World Title fight is waiting around the corner,” said promoter Frank Warren.

“This is a dangerous, dangerous fight, and Joe needs to make sure he doesn’t let Carlos come in and take everything he’s worked so hard for.”

I hate to disagree with Frank, but I don’t see Takam as a “dangerous” fight for Joyce. In fact, this should be an easy mismatch unless, of course, Joyce has gone downhill since his win over Dubois. In that case, yeah, this will be a hard fight for Joyce.

Image: Joyce takes on Takam in stay-busy fight on July 24th

I’d rather have seen Joyce fight a world-class fighter like Hrgovic, Parker, Yoka, or Luis Ortiz. But, again, if Joyce wanted an easy mark, he should have taken the fight with Hughie. Now, that would be a fun fight, and it would help create some bad blood with Tyson Fury.


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