By: Hans Themistode
After patiently waiting for a showdown against Oleksandr Usyk to materialize, Joe Joyce was forced to move in another direction. Now, the former 2016 Olympic silver medalist will take on fringe contender, Carlos Takam. The pair are currently scheduled to face off on July 24th, in Wembley Arena.
Originally, the British native was hoping that after picking up the biggest win in his young career against Daniel Dubois, stopping him in the 10th, that a WBO final eliminator would take place. With an apparent undisputed showdown between WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury and unified champion Anthony Joshua, Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) began negotiating terms for a matchup with Usyk.
For as much as Joyce wanted his shot at a world title, he welcomed a matchup with Usyk. The two battled it out on the amateur scene several years ago with Usyk walking away with a wide points victory.
While both sides were inching towards an agreement, everything fell apart thanks to former WBC belt holder, Deontay Wilder. The Alabama native won his arbitration case against Fury, which forced the undefeated titleholder to face him once more. With Fury no longer able to face Joshua, Usyk left the negotiating table with Joyce and pursued his mandated title shot against Joshua. Currently, both Usyk and Joshua haven’t come to terms on a deal but promoter Eddie Hearn has expressed confidence in his ability to get their showdown over the finish line.
As for Takam (39-5-1, 28 KOs), the road to true contender status has been a long one. After suffering back-to-back stoppage defeats at the hands of Joshua and borderline contender Dereck Chisora, Takam was determined to dust himself off and fight his way back to a respectable position. Now, with four straight wins, Takam will now look to pry away the Commonwealth title that is currently in the possession of Joyce.