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Results: Joe Joyce bludgeons Carlos Takam, ready for title shot

Image: Results: Joe Joyce bludgeons Carlos Takam, ready for title shot

By Matt Lieberman: Joe ‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce put himself in the pole position on Saturday night with a massive sixth-round technical knockout victory over Carlos Takam in London.

After a glacially slow start in the first five rounds, Joyce suddenly came alive with a burst of energy in the sixth, hurting Takam with a sledgehammer left hook to the head. Joyce continued to press the attack, stunning Takam with a right to the head moments later.

The referee Steve Gray didn’t like what he saw from Takam, so he stepped between the two fighters and waved it off. The time of the stoppage was at 49 seconds of the sixth.

Takam looked incredulous moments after the fight was stopped, as he felt he was fine and wanted to continue. After the fight, Takam revealed that he was waiting for Joyce to stop punching so he could go on the attack.

It was a mistake for Takam to wait because Joyce landed too many shots consecutively for the referee to allow the contest to continue.

The win keeps Joyce in his spot as the WBO mandatory contender, second to the WBO’s other leading contender Oleksandr Usyk, who will be challenging champion Anthony Joshua on September 25th.

The victorious Joyce made it clear after his win over Takam that he wants the winner of the Joshua vs. Usyk fight next. Whether Joyce gets that fight is a toss-up.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is adamant that AJ wants the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III winner next February. Hearn is banking on Fury winning that fight.

Joyce started slow (13-0, 12 KOs) as a big train, but once he got going in the sixth, he was too much for Takam, hurting him with a storm of heavy blows that left the referee with no choice but to halt the fight.

Although Takam didn’t leave his feet, he looked like he needed saving. But the boxing fans weren’t overly pleased with the referee Steve Gray’s decision to stop the fight because Takam looked like he was still alert.

Joyce had A LOT of problems with the smaller Takam through the first five rounds, as he was taking hard shots repeatedly. This wasn’t the same Joyce we’d seen in his previous fight against Daniel Dubois last November.

The Juggernaut wasn’t as sharp as he’d been against Dubois, and he looked a little slower.  Takam, 40, looked surprisingly like the better fighter through the first five rounds. His speed and overall boxing skills appeared to be superior to Joyce.

In the sixth round, Joyce suddenly overpowered Takam after catching him with a good shot to the head that dazed him. Once Takam was hurt, Joyce proved to be a great finisher in taking him out quickly with a series of hard punches.

Joyce says the referee had to stop the fight

“Respect to Takam, he gave me his all and his me with some big shots,” said Joyce to Behind The Gloves. “He was trying different things and hit me with a really good straight right hand in the early rounds.

Image: Results: Joe Joyce bludgeons Carlos Takam, ready for title shot

“I was trying to get my distance and get my footwork right. I was trying to land the jab and work on different things.

“Yeah, he’s a very tough guy. Even at the end, when I caught him with a good shot, I came in to finish him off, and he was just standing there.

“He wasn’t going anywhere. I knew he was tough; I knew he was strong. He brought it tonight. I got the better of him using my footwork and my technique. I decided to work him out and get the shots off.

“I think in the rulebook it’s like ten unanswered shots, but he was still throwing, but I was landing them cleanly,” said Joyce in addressing the criticism that the referee Steve Gray had prematurely stopped the fight with Takam.

“The referee was letting it go on, but he was just taking a barrage of unanswered shots. It was only a matter of time before. I’ve got the engine, so I was going to keep throwing shots,” Joyce said.

It had to have been a bitter pill for Takam to swallow, losing for the second time in a fight that appeared to be stopped prematurely in the UK. Four years ago, Takam suffered a tenth round TKO defeat against IBF/WBA champion Joshua in 2017 in Cardiff.

In that fight, Takam gave Joyce all he could handle in the tenth round when suddenly the referee jumped in and stopped the fight, giving AJ the victory. Tonight wasn’t as bad, but it did look like another premature stoppage.

Takam fought well in the first two rounds on Saturday night, catching Joyce with solid right hands to the head. He did a good job of avoiding Joyce’s telephone pole-like kab, ducking under it to nail him with right hands.

Joe surprised fans had him losing

“Really?” Joyce said when told that many boxing fans online had Takam winning most if not all of the first five rounds.

Image: Results: Joe Joyce bludgeons Carlos Takam, ready for title shot

“I felt comfortable in there; I didn’t feel too bothered by his shots. I managed to block them and catch them and move my feet and footwork to get out of range and try and ride with the shots a bit.

“I was kind of working out his rhythm, and I managed to get my distance and start landing some power shots and power jabs, which were landing flush.

“I have to watch it back and analyze it a bit more, but I thought I did a good job. He gave it his all; he gave it his best. He’s an African lion for a reason. He’s very hard to stop,” said Joyce.

Takam landed well with his attacking style during the first five rounds. He had no issues finding his way through Joyce’s defense to land to the head with hard shots.

For his part, Joyce’s jabs were ineffective because Takam was able to pick them off or avoid them by ducking.

Joyce may take a stay-busy fight

“It’s a great feeling,” said Joyce when reminded that he became the WBO mandatory to the winner of the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight on September 25th.

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“I did job one. I had the training camp, and thanks to my team for getting me in the right shape and frame of mind for this fight.

I’m going to see what happens with the WBO because I’m mandatory, but obviously Joshua and Usyk have to do their thing, and Tyson Fury and Wilder 3,” said Joyce.

“There’s all that going on, but maybe one of the belts will come vacant. I’m ranked #1 with the WBO, so I’m sure there’s a keep busy fight in between.

“But you know why I’m here. I’m here to become the heavyweight champion of the world as soon as I can get there, the better.

“I thought Takam was a risky fight, but it was a risky fight to have, and I enjoyed my time in the ring while it lasted, and I like a challenge.

“It’s a reason to get in the gym and train because you’ve got to train hard. It’s quite tough,” Joyce said when asked if he’ll take another Takam-level fight next while he waits for his mandated title shot against WBO champion Joshua.

“When you’re enjoying it, it’s not much like work. I’m pretty tough. That’s why they call me the ‘Juggernaut,'” said Joyce when reacting to a comment about how he took some hard headshots from Takam tonight.

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