Joe Joyce defended his WBO International, WBC Silver and Commonwealth heavyweight titles at the SSE Arena, Wembley, as he stopped Carlos Takam in six lively rounds on Saturday to keep on course for a future world title shot.
Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) was coming off a satisfying tenth round knockout of Daniel Dubois in November 2020, while Takam (39-6-1, 28 KOs) was on a four-fight winning streak after back-to-back losses to Joshua and Dereck Chisora in 2017 and 2018.
Although the ‘Juggernaut’ controlled the distance in the main in the opener, he was tagged by several Takam right hands during the session.
The 35-year-old worked well off his jab in the second, but the visitor was growing in confidence, and again connected with more clean shots to end the round.
Takam was taking advantage of the static home favourite, but he was nailed right at the conclusion of the third as a solid left hand found the mark.
The Londoner took heart from the success, but although he landed to head and body of the Cameroonian-born Frenchman in round four, he was still getting hit far too often himself, walking through what his opponent had to offer.
The work to the body slowed the challenger down, and the fifth was dominated by Joyce.
At the start of the sixth, a left hook wobbled 40-year-old, and the 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist fired off a series of unanswered punches that led to referee Steve Gray waving the contest off, much to the former world title challenger’s disgust.
Joyce is the mandatory challenger for the WBO title, and he put himself in line for a shot of the winner of September’s Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk meeting with victory in London.
“What I want is AJ or Usyk,” Joyce said post-fight to BT Sport.
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“No I don’t need any more tests [before a world title shot]. I’ve picked the level that’s up and strategically moved, so I’ve started at the deep end and I’m carrying on that way on a steep trajectory.
“So I’m ready now.”
Sheeraz sweeps aside Gurria
Hamzah Sheeraz defended his WBO European Super Welterweight title for a third time, and he made it seven early wins on the bounce with a fifth round TKO victory over Ezequiel Gurria.
Sheeraz (13-0, 9 KOs) went through the gears, and in the fifth he delivered two body shots and an uppercut that dropped the Spaniard.
Gurria (15-2, 3 KOs) just about beat the count, but the end was nigh, and an uppercut through the guard after a volley of punches floored the visitor for a second time, and the count was dispensed with.
Noakes makes it seven wins by KO
Sam Noakes (7-0, 7 KOs) stopped late notice opponent, Naeem Ali at the end of two rounds of their welterweight encounter.
Ali (2-71-1, 1 KO) was halted early for the first time in over 70 contests, and he was forced to retire after an uppercut looked to have broken his nose.
Essuman crowned British & Commonwealth champion
Ekow Essuman became the new British and Commonwealth welterweight champion, as he stopped Chris Jenkins (22-4-3, 8 KOs) in eight rounds to relieve the Welshman of his titles.
The early rounds were tough to score, with both men taking turns to fire off a high volume of punches, but Nottingham-based Essuman (15-0, 6 KOs) came on strong in the middle rounds, and with under a minute gone in the eighth round, he unloaded a flurry of unanswered punches that forced referee Ian John-Lewis to step in.
Adeleye knocks out Manev
David Adeleye (7-0, 6 KOs) made it seven straight wins as a professional, but laboured before finally finishing off Mladen Manev in the fourth of their scheduled heavyweight six rounder.
The Bulgarian was close to taking a knee in the fourth after taking a big right hand, but carried on fighting fire with fire, and caught an uppercut that dropped him shortly after.
Manev (3-10, 2 KOs) bravely beat the count, but a body shot dropped him again and the referee waved the contest off.
Bourke sees off Beech Jr
Chris Bourke defended his WBC International super bantamweight title for the first time, and the Streatham southpaw took a routine enough points win against James Beech Jr over ten rounds.
Bourke (10-0, 6 KOs) was rarely in trouble, while Beech (12-2, 2 KOs) had difficulty making any sort of significant inroads throughout the contest. Scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 99-92 ensured the belt remained with Bourke.
Fox, Frankham, Burke & Soczynski successful
Michal Soczynski (1-0, 1 KO) had a successful debut, and the Polish cruiserweight scored a knockout win against Matt Sen (5-4, 1 KO).
Micky Burke Jr (5-0, 2 KOs) also halted Paul Cummings (2-50) inside schedule at welterweight.
There were points wins for Charles Frankham (3-0, 1 KO) over Dean Jones (1-28) at super featherweight, and for George Fox (4-0), who defeated debutant, Reece Barlow (0-1) at heavyweight.