Joe Joyce halts Carlos Takam in six, targets Joshua-Usyk winner
Heavyweight contender Joe Joyce scored an entertaining sixth-round stoppage over tough Frenchman Carlos Takam at the Wembley Arena in London.
Joyce, who is rated No. 10 by The Ring at heavyweight, is now in line to face the winner of the September clash between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk as the WBO’s leading contender but it should be worrying for those in the Joyce camp that he again shipped plenty of damage.
“What I want is AJ or Usyk,” said Joyce. “I’m ready now.”
Joyce tried to get his jab going early in Round 1 and Takam started to go looking for right hands over the top, landing several.
That pattern continued through the second round, with Joyce taking too many big shots from right hands and in the third Takam was doing the same until he was straightened by a left hook-right hand in the closing moments of the session.
Both had their moments in Round 4; Joyce with the volume and with his jab and body-punching and Takam as he bowled over more jarring overhand rights.
However, Joyce flew out of the blocks in the sixth and connected with a short left hook and the end was nigh.
Joe followed in rapidly, firing away with both hands looking for the stoppage. Initially Joyce crowded his work but once he slowed and employed some patience he landed more often and Takam couldn’t respond.
Steve Gray’s intervention seemed timely to spare Takam further punishment. Time of the stoppage was 0:49 of the sixth.
Joyce is now 13-0 with 12 stoppages.
“He [Takam] hit me with some good shots and I managed to work out where to land, so I had to take my opportunity when I saw it,” he said, admitting that he had been “mildly hurt.”
“I weathered the storm and fired right back,” Joyce added.
Takam fumed at the stoppage and shoved referee Steve Gray as he protested the ending but he was not offering anything back at all at the time of the intervention.
Hamzah Sheeraz, a 6-foot-1 junior middleweight, was too much for Spaniard Ezequiel Gurria, whom he outboxed and then stopped in five rounds.
Sheeraz, a good prospect, was in control throughout, scoring well with jabs and working his way in behind both hands.
He looked one-paced for a while but he was getting rounds under his belt until he put his foot on the gas in the fifth. He threw to the body and then fired in a left uppercut to drop the visitor for the first time and, moments later, with Gurria bleeding and taking damage on the ropes, another left uppercut spelt the end.
Fast-handed Sheeraz extended his unbeaten run to 13, Gurria is now 15-2.
“I felt him going from the first round, but I remembered what I did in training and put it into practice,” said Sheeraz.
There wasn’t a great deal between Nottingham welterweight Ekow Essuman and Chris Jenkins through seven rounds but in the eighth Essuman broke through with an avalanche of blows and the Welshman crumbled.
Essuman improved to 15-0 (6 KOs) and captured the British and Commonwealth titles. He seemed to get stronger as the fight wore on and he landed occasional solid single shots while Jenkins kept him at bay for as long as he could with stiff jabs and right hands but Essuman wouldn’t be denied.
“The cream always rises to the top,” said the new champion. “Conor Benn wanted the British title, if he wants it, I’ve got it. Come and get it.”
Jenkins dips to 22-4-3.
Heavyweight prospect David Adeleye had things his own way against chunky Bulgarian Mladen Manev, who was plucky but seriously outgunned. Manev was down twice and finished by a left to the body in the fourth round which caused referee Ian John-Lewis to wave it off. Adeleye is now 7-0 with six stoppages while Manev falls to 3-10.