Joe Joyce takes on Carlos Takam after learning he is the WBO’s new mandatory challenger against winner Anthony Joshua over Oleksandr Usyk.
Joyce is ready for his first outing since scoring a huge victory over compatriot Daniel Dubois last November, but believes he is walking firmly towards the heavyweight title fight.
Takam is his final hurdle, a notoriously stubborn veteran who has been in the ring with Antthony Joshua, Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora.
Speaking to talkSPORT, where the fight takes place on Saturday night, Joyce said he wants to move on to more important things after Takam, but has no illusions that he’s up for a challenge. .
“He’s still dangerous,” he said.
“He trains constantly, he’s a beast and always in good shape. He’s had a lot of time to prepare for me, so yeah, he’ll be the best version of Takam coming to me.
“It’s going to be a tough fight but an exciting fight and once I beat it I can go on and do bigger and better things.”
Joyce believed he had a date with Oleksandr Usyk for the mandatory WBO job before Joshua’s unchallenged fight with Tyson Fury failed and the Ukrainian found himself challenging AJ in September.
Joyce’s training has progressed despite everything and he feels in excellent condition.
“I thought I was going to fight Usyk so I had some fighting and got my head against a southpaw in practice. We had the change of plans and moved to Takam, but I was never 100% sure I was fighting Usyk so I was sort of ticking until I got the a sign that this was definitely happening.
“Now that I have the fight with Takam, I’m going full steam ahead. I arrive at the end of my camp so on the last gust and then night fight. I think now is the best time for me.
“I had a late start at 22, I’m over 10 in the sport and continue to improve and learn, but I’m ready for the best fights. I’m just waiting for the opportunity, ”Joyce said.
When asked the idea of not getting a world title until 2023 with all the hoops Fury and AJ have to go through to reach their potential undisputed title fight – which they are supposed to agree to do at least two – Joyce hoped it wasn’t, but I know boxing well enough to know it could be.
“Hopefully not,” Joyce said. “Boxing is a delicate business, you never know what’s going to happen. You never know what you are going to get. I just stay ready and keep improving and enjoy what I’m doing so I’m learning new things and I’m ready to have the opportunity to show the world that I can be number one.
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“Joshua and Fury are finally going to fight. Wilder is still there. Usyk too, can’t wait to see this. See how he fares against Joshua.
“There are lots of good fights. Maybe if the fight between Wilder and Fury can be revamped. Yeah, it just takes a long time. Then there are revenges and stuff, so you never know what can happen, but I stay ready. “
Joshua and Usyk will face off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Joyce promoter Frank Warren wants the winner of that fight to meet Joyce in north London at his beloved Emirates Stadium in Arsenal.
“When they’re done with Spurs, The Juggernaut would like to invite Anthony Joshua or Alexander Usyk into their patch,” Warren tweeted.