Heavyweight Joe Joyce will be enjoying a 20 lb weight advantage over Carlos Takam this Saturday night when the two meet in the headline attraction at the Wembley Arena in Wembley, London, UK.
The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) weighed in at a whopping 268.14 lbs on Friday at the weigh-in. His opponent, former world title challenger Takam (39-5-1, 28 KOs), scaled in at 248.8 lbs.
The exciting part about this fight is that the WBO mandatory position will be at stake. The winner will be sitting pretty as the mandated challenger to champion Anthony Joshua.
The mandatory spot is the golden ticket to earn life-changing money for the Joyce vs. Takam winner.
Takam has already gotten a taste of the green that comes with fighting Joshua in October 2017, losing a 10th round knockout in a bizarre ending in which the referee jumped in and stopped the fight while both guys were trading.
It was one of the weirdest stoppages this writer has ever seen. That fight shouldn’t have been stopped by any measure, but oh well. Hopefully, we don’t see a repeat occurrence on Saturday night.
“The money that the winner of the Joyce vs. Takam can make fighting Joshua will be quite good indeed.
That’s why you can’t rule out a win for 40-year-old Takam on Saturday night because he knows how much he’ll make in a second title shot against Joshua. It would be a great way for Takam to put a cap on his career, getting another big payday against AJ.
Other weigh-in results for Saturday:
Hamzah Sheeraz 153 vs. Ezequiel Gurria 153.75
Chris Jenkins 146.75 vs. Ekow Essuman 146.5
Chris Bourke 121.5 vs. James Beech Jr. 121.5
David Adeleye 226 vs. Mladen Manev 228
Joyce has got a lot to lose
“I’m delighted. He’s been out for a while, but it’s not been down to us. Obviously, the pandemic didn’t help early on, but earlier on, we were trying to sort out the situation with Tyson and AJ,” said Frank Warren to Boxing Social.
“That impacted on Joe [Joyce] because he was in there as mandatory and weren’t sure if he was going to get a shot at the title against AJ or not.
“He’s in there with Takam, and Takam will bring out the best in him. He’s got to be at the top of his game. He’s got a lot to lose now.
“He’s number on in there, and there’s a lot of pressure on Joe. He’s obviously got to put in a great performance and make sure he doesn’t slip up.
“I think you’ll get all what you said from Takam. What I want from Joe is a nice controlled performance, and I want him to break his man down and hopefully take him out.
“Whatever round he takes him out, he takes him out. If it goes the distance, it goes the distance. I know what I’d like to see, but I want to see him make a statement, and I believe he will do it,” Warren said.
Joyce, 35, has everything to lose in this fight against Takam. He’s at the #1 spot with the WBO right now, and all he needs is a victory over Takam to earn a title shot.
But if Takam cans somehow pull off an upset on Saturday, it’s going to be quite a setback for Joyce, who isn’t a spring chicken.
It took Joyce four years to get to where he’s at right now, knocking on the door to a title shot against WBO champion Joshua. If Joyce loses to Takam, who’s to say if he’ll ever get in this position again?
Takam believes he can win
“He was number two, and Usyk was number one,” said Warren about Joyce being #2 in the World Boxing Organization’s heavyweight rankings.
“So automatically, he goes up to the #1 spot, and he’s there. They’ve got to get their obligation out of the way first, Usyk and AJ, and then after that, provided he comes through on Saturday, the WBO will make a decision when the mandatory takes place.
“For Takam, he fancies the fight for his life,” said Warren. “His manager Joe DeGaurdia is quite an astute boxing man, and I’ve got a lot of respect for Joe.
“They fancy the job; they really do fancy it. So we’ll see on the night, but Takam has got that carrot in front of him, that number one spot [with the WBO] that Joe has, thinking to him if he beats the number one, that enhances his earning capacity and puts him into another big fight,” said Warren.
With Takam’s punching power and the excellent condition he’s in right now, you got to give him a shot at beating Joyce on Saturday night.
All it takes is one big shot from Takam, and he’ll upend the lumbering 6’6″ Joyce to grab the golden ticket to a title shot against Joshua.
Waiting game for Joyce
“We all want the undisputed, and I don’t think anyone is going to stand in the way,” said Warren when asked if Joyce would step aside to let the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fight take place.
“Having said that, other people have their careers too, and they’ll be moving forward, so we’ll see.
“If Joe comes through and Tyson and AJ get it on, then maybe he fights for the interim [WBO] title whilst the dust settles.
“Very disappointed, but those are the times we live in,” said Warren about Fury testing positive for COVID-19, resulting in his trilogy match with Deontay Wilder being postponed until October 9th.
“Look what’s going on at the minute in our country. We’ve got terrible infection rates again. It’s a worldwide epidemic.
“You can only be so careful. By the time he [Fury] gets in the ring, it’ll be 20 months, and that’s a long time. Mostly it’s Tyson that’s frustrated.
“Hopefully, he can get the cobwebs out of his system in October when he fights Wilder, and he can get that obligation out of the way.
“Hopefully, he gets that out of the way, and then we can move forward. That’s a lot of crap.
“They did really well with the ticket sales [for the Fury vs. Wilder III fight that was previously scheduled for July 24th in Las Vegas, Nevada].
“If you don’t believe me and Bob Arum, then ask PBC. The tickets were going extremely well,” said Warren.
As long as Joyce doesn’t get beaten while he’s waiting for the undisputed championship clash between Joshua and Tyson Fury, he should be fine.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see the Joyce vs. Takam winner getting a crack at the winner of the Joshua vs. Fury fight in early to mid-2022. At best, we’re probably looking at late 2022 before Joyce or Takam challenge for the WBO title.
What would be the unkindest cut of all is if the winner of the Joshua-Fury fight vacates the WBO belt, which would set up a lesser fight one of the top contenders like Joseph Parker. What a disappointment that would be for Joyce or Takam.