British fighter, Joe Joyce decisioned Carlos Takam in the sixth round of their heavyweight bout on Saturday at the Wembley Arena and promptly challenged Anthony Joshua, who’s due to fight Oleksandr Usyk in a mandatory fight on September 25th, to a fight for who’s the best fighter in the category.
And yes, Tony Bellew, former cruiserweight title holder, reckons Joyce is capable of stopping both Joshua and fellow British champion Tyson Fury.
Between them, AJ and Fury hold all four major heavyweight world titles at present but Bellew insists Joyce is as good as either man in the ring.
“What I want is AJ or Usyk! I don’t need any more tests. I’ve started at the deep end and I’ve carried on at a steady trajectory”, Joyce said moments after his victory over Takam.
The 35-year-old stretched his unbeaten record to 13 victories, 12 by knockout, after he staggered Takam with a sudden assault to prompt the swift intervention of referee Steve Gray at Wembley Arena.
Bellew, apparently banking on Joyce’s famed durability which was tested again on Saturday by Takam who dished out a couple clubbing shots in the second, said Joyce will ride out whatever he’s up against in the ring.
“He is a problem for anyone in the world. Purely based on the fact that he’s gonna be there at the final bell and he’s gonna make you work. But do you know what? It doesn’t even need to get to the final bell.
“He’s there after six rounds – 90 per cent of these heavyweights are gonna be feeling the pace after six and he doesn’t. He just keeps coming and coming.
“I don’t care if you’re Anthony Joshua, if you’re Tyson Fury, if you’re Deontay Wilder – if you don’t get rid of Joe Joyce, after six you’ve got a problem.
“And that’s what you’ve gotta understand when you’re fighting someone like him, you’ve gotta be prepared to go to hell for 12 rounds. You’ve got to be in unbelievable shape,” Bellew talked up the chances of Joyce against the three biggest names in heavyweight boxing.
“And don’t get me wrong, Anthony Joshua is probably the best conditioned heavyweight of the last 20 years, but this Joe Joyce is a different kind of animal.
“He doesn’t even need to do much work, he’s just walking you down. It must be so much of a lift and confidence booster for a fighter going into a fight thinking, ‘These guys just can’t hurt me.’
“It’s not like these are featherweights hitting him, these are 17 stone, 18 stone, 19 stone men hitting him with everything they’ve got. He’s the modern-day Terminator, the human Terminator, he doesn’t stop.”
Fury is fixed to fight Deontay Wilder in the third of their trilogy fights while Joshua is locked down for the Usyk bout in Septemeber so Joyce may have to wait a bit for his shot at AJ for a probably big payday.