By: Hans Themistode
Joe Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) may have walked into his showdown against Carlos Takam as the prohibited favorite but he found his opponent much more difficult to deal with.
Coming off the heels of the biggest win of his career against Daniel Dubois, Joe Joyce kept his undefeated record intact and his world title hopes alive. Both he and Takam (39-6-1, 28 KOs) met in the center of the ring at Wembley Arena and threw bombs from the opening bell.
As usual, Joyce came out pushing a slow and clumsy jab. The former 2016 Olympic silver medalist has long been criticized for his lack of hand speed and once again, had it back on display. Takam, on the other hand, boxed well on the outside. He landed the cleaner shots and easily avoided the glacially slow offensive attack that came in his direction.
Nicknamed the “Juggernaut” for a reason, Joyce walked through every and anything that Takam threw in his direction, including several three-punch combinations that landed flush on the chin. The 40-year-old fringe contender out of Cameroon, Africa, continued to find success in the early rounds. In the third, he forced Joyce to take a step back as he landed numerous hard shots.
Just a few weeks prior to their contest taking place, the WBO sanctioning body revealed that Joyce had been officially installed as their number one contender. Meaning, the British native simply needed to keep winning in order to get a crack at a world title. With Takam seemingly gaining all of the momentum, Joyce refused to be knocked down the heavyweight ladder.
In the sixth, Joyce landed a huge right hand that took the legs away from Takam. He stumbled into the ropes as Joyce continued to unload. While he appeared in trouble initially, Takam seemingly got his second wind. His moment of reprieve, however, wouldn’t last for long as Joyce landed another huge blow.
Takam once again stumbled into the ropes and before he could receive further damage, referee Steve Gray stepped in to call a halt to their contest. But while Gray did his best to protect what he believed was a damaged fighter, Takam immediately protested his decision and pushed him away.
Regardless of his objection, a dejected Takam walked off as Joyce had his hand raised in victory.