JOE JOYCE cemented his position as a top heavyweight contender with a sixth-round TKO of CARLOS TAKAM in Wembley Arena last night. Eight months after recording a career-best victory over then-undefeated puncher Daniel Dubois, “The Juggernaut” was handed a dangerous marking time foe in the form of Takam.
No stranger to UK shores, the 40-year-old Cameroonian had enjoyed fairly mixed success on his previous visits. The 2018 knockout loss to Dereck Chisora was certainly nothing to celebrate, but his 2017 defeat to Anthony Joshua earned him moral points at least, given the arguably premature nature of the verdict.
Winning four on the bounce since the Chisora reverse, Takam [39-6-1, 28 KOs] was last seen earning a lacklustre decision over American survivor Jerry Forrest in Las Vegas. Joe Joyce [13-0, 12 KOs] isn’t the type of heavyweight to settle for lacklustre.
Standing tall in centre ring he started pumping out the same ramrod left jab that caused Daniel Dubois so much trouble in their encounter. Short and compact, Takam’s best opportunities came from explosive right hands that were repeatedly tagging Joyce.
Known for his solid chin, Joyce would not be wanting to soak up too many flush blows. Steadily pounding away to head and body, Joyce had not switched too many things up by the fifth. Takam was blowing harder but still landing shots. Joyce’s remarkable engine was keeping him at a steady rhythm.
Badly hurt early in the sixth, Takam was suddenly wobbling around on unsteady legs. Joyce swarmed all over him and the pair engaged in a slugfest. Joyce landed some unanswered blows and referee Steve Gray intervened. Takam was furious and vehemently protested the decision.
“He’s a tough African lion,” said Joyce afterwards. “I used the sweet science of boxing to good effect. I want Aj or Usyk [next]! Boxing is my sport and I’m loving it.”
“It was a very exciting heavyweight fight,” added promoter Frank Warren. “He’ll be out again sometime in October.”
Providing chief support on the bill, HAMZAH SHEERAZ showed why he is considered by many as such a hot prospect by stopping EZEQUIEL GURRIA in the fifth round.
Tall and lean, Sheeraz [13-0, 9 KOs] used his strong jab to pick away at head and body. At times it was a little one-paced but when the London resident let fly with his combinations he was able to find success.
Jovial Gurria [15-2, 3KOs] was clearly enjoying himself, while remaining in little danger of winning any rounds. Clearly a non-puncher, the Spaniard’s main aim was to last the course and hope Sheeraz would gas late on. Sheeraz’s power ensured he never got the chance to find out.
Earlier in the evening EKOW ESSUMAN became the British and Commonwealth welterweight champion after stopping CHRIS JENKINS in round eight. Essuman [15-0, 6 KOs] had to withstand some sticky moments from his more experienced foe but showed his guile and fitness to put Jenkins [22-4-3, 8 KOs] on the hook and force a stoppage. The Nottingham winner later told interviewer Steve Bunce that he would take on whoever the public wanted to see next.
CHRIS BOURKE defeated JAMES BEECH JR over 10 rounds at super-bantamweight. Southpaw Bourke [10-0, 6 KOs] was always one step ahead of tough Beech [12-2, 2 KOs] and won by scores of 100-90, 99-92 and 99-91.
Heavyweight prospect DAVID ADELEYE [7-0, 6 KOs] pummelled Bulgarian journeyman MLADEN MANEV [3-10, 2 KOs] to defeat in round four of a scheduled six-rounder.