Results and highlights: Joyce stops Takam in six, Essuman and Sheeraz win


Joe Joyce had some early tough moments against veteran Carlos Takam, but his increasingly famous durability and engine held true to reputation, and he was able to force a stoppage early in the sixth round to stay undefeated.

Joyce (13-0, 12 KO) arguably lost the first three rounds of this fight, but had a turning point late in the third where he hurt Takam (39-6-1, 28 KO) just a bit, and he won the fourth and fifth frames with steady, consistent work, including some fourth round body shots that made a clear difference and slowed Takam down.

Joyce has eaten shots from opponents before, and did so again here today. He’s slow and doesn’t have the tightest defense, but he’s damn near impossible to dent, it seems, really living up to his “Juggernaut” nickname. And he just kept coming, as usual.

Feeling he had Takam ready to go, Joyce came out for the sixth round firing, and just didn’t stop for 49 seconds, until referee Steve Gray stepped in to stop the fight. The 40-year-old Takam was angry about the stoppage, but he was also not throwing anything back anymore, wobbling around, and looking ready to go. It will have been an early stoppage for some, but all things considered it’s hard to argue with Gray’s call. Joyce was fighting to force a stoppage, and he did it.

“(He hurt me) mildly, but I’m pretty tough, as they come, so I weathered the storm and fired right back,” Joyce said, giving Takam credit for his toughness and ability.

Joyce also said Takam didn’t continue his anger or complaints about the stoppage when they spoke after the fight.

“He didn’t say anything about the stoppage, we were just having a chat. Just talking to each other, paying our respects and stuff. It was a good fight, he’s a warrior. He’s been in so many great fights.”

And Joyce has a clear target: “What I want is AJ or Usyk,” he said.

Promoter Frank Warren expects Joyce to be named WBO mandatory challenger after the Joshua-Usyk fight on Sept. 25, which could still take a while to get done — Usyk is Joshua’s current WBO mandatory, so he wouldn’t get an order straight away to do another one — particularly if Fury-Joshua is to be revisited after their upcoming fights.

Undercard Results

  • Hamzah Sheeraz TKO-5 Ezequiel Gurria: Gurria (15-2, 3 KO) didn’t provide much resistance at all, and the 6’3”, 154 lb prospect Sheeraz goes to 13-0 (9 KO) with two knockdowns leading to a fifth round stoppage. Sheeraz put shots together nicely to finish here, still a ways to go but he’s 22, has great size for his weight even if he goes up another 20 lbs over the years, and there’s real promise. Good prospect.
  • Sam Noakes RTD-2 Naeem Ali: Ali may have the comical journeyman record (2-71-1, 1 KO), but he’d never, ever been stopped. He got stopped here, because Noakes (7-0, 7 KO) broke his nose in the second round. Noakes is a 24-year-old lightweight (fought here around welterweight), starting to cause a bit of a stir, definitely has some power but not just a lumbering brute or anything, either. One to watch.
  • Ekow Essuman TKO-8 Chris Jenkins: This win gives Essuman (15-0, 6 KO) the British and Commonwealth welterweight titles. It was extremely close for a while, but I thought Essuman was starting to just pull away a bit, then he flurried big on Jenkins early in the eighth, and referee Ian John Lewis stepped in. Seemed like a quick call from Lewis, but Jenkins was hurting and not complaining after, might have busted a rib in there. Jenkins (22-4-3, 8 KO) is a very good domestic level fighter, won the British belt from Johnny Garton in 2019 and added the Commonwealth that same year, but this was Essuman’s night. Essuman is 32 so not really a rising prospect for the world stage or anything, but the Botswana-born, Nottingham-based fighter has put himself at the top of the domestic ranks at 147 in fine fashion.
  • David Adeleye TKO-4 Mladen Manev: Adeleye didn’t suddenly answer every question coming out of his very generous gift win over Kamil Sokolowski, but he took a big step back here and got some rounds in, stopping Manev (3-10, 2 KO) in the fourth. Manev was hurt and complaining about his eye, looked like he was going to take a knee, also like he wanted referee Ian John Lewis to step in. Neither thing happened so the fight continued, Adeleye (7-0, 6 KO) dropped him on an uppercut, Manev got up, and he got put back down and finished on a body shot. Adeleye, 24, is still a very raw prospect, a green heavyweight, and it did bite him against Sokolowski, even if he got the cards that night. There’s no actual reason to rush him, though. He can continue to learn his craft.
  • Chris Bourke UD-10 James Beech Jr: Missed this fight, but all reports were that Bourke deserved the win on the scores given, which were 99-92, 99-91, and 100-90. Beech (12-2, 2 KO) by accounts just didn’t do near enough, didn’t throw enough, didn’t have an argument in more than a couple of rounds. Bourke (10-0, 6 KO) is a 26-year-old southpaw junior featherweight, has a minor WBC title, making some moves.

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