On Saturday night Joe Joyce vs Carlos Takam provides another major heavyweight attraction and our betting expert is here to give you his expert preview, prediction and tips.
Unbeaten British, Commonwealth and European champion Joe Joyce (12-0) takes on former world-title challenger Carlos Takam (39-5-1) at the SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday night.
It’s another big fight for ‘The Juggernaut’ – BT Sport broadcasts in the UK – and comes eight months after his biggest win as a professional against the highly touted Daniel Dubois. That fight, at the majestic Church House in Westminster, was a fascinating piece of match-making between two unbeaten British heavyweight prospects guided by Frank Warren. Somebody’s ‘0’ had to go back in November, and when the smoke cleared Joyce was the man left standing.
Joyce was a clear underdog against ‘Dynamite’ Dubois, but he showed heart, cojones and no little skill to pound his London rival into submission (KO 10) and put himself firmly in the world title frame.
As stated, eight months have now elapsed since that famous win and there is much on the line on Saturday night. We are told that if Joyce wins this weekend he will be the mandatory challenger for the winner of that September 25 showdown between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk. However, with ‘Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury and an undisputed megafight still very much on the table for Joshua, Joyce probably knows deep down he may need to wait a while yet for his big chance.
Joyce vs Takam preview
Joe starts as a huge betting favourite this weekend (he is as short as 1/16 to win with some layers) against barrel-chested French brawler Takam and it’s easy to see why. ‘The Juggernaut’ is an Olympic silver medallist who many feel was desperately unlucky not to win gold against Tony Yoka in 2016, and at the time of writing would give any heavyweight champion out there a hard night’s work with his work rate and sheer size.
Joyce is not aesthetically pleasing on the eye, but his clubbing blows and seemingly limitless stamina make him efficient and effective. Due to his outstanding amateur resume, Warren has been able to move the 35-year-old pretty quickly as a pro and after just a dozen paid fights he is knocking on the door now for a world-title shot.
Technically this won’t be one for the purists, but if you like an old fashioned tear-up this should definitely be worth a watch. UK fight fans will remember 40-year-old Takam for his violent tango in Cardiff with Anthony Joshua a couple of years ago.
The French powerhouse stepped in at just over a week’s notice to challenge ‘AJ’ for his WBA and IBF belts in October 2017 and in truth gave the then unbeaten Londoner a decent argument, eventually succumbing to a debatable stoppage in Round 10.
He certainly went down swinging in the Principality, with many fans insisting that the stoppage was premature. Despite his advancing years, the Frenchman remains a danger. Much like Joyce, Takam has a ‘take one to give one’ style and that could lead to a toe-to-toe slugfest this weekend.
He’s clearly not the fighter he once was, but Takam remains a quality operator whose last defeat was a punishing eighth-round knockout by Derek Chisora in July 2018. He was actually ahead on the cards at the O2 Arena before ‘Del Boy’ uncorked two massive right hands to change the entire direction of the fight and claim a dramatic win.
The Frenchman has won four out of four since that loss, but it is worth saying that all of those wins have come against fighters operating well outside of heavyweight boxing’s top tier. He does not possess brutish power by heavyweight standards, but a KO ratio of 62% is very respectable. Of the four men to beat him since 2009 – Chisora, Joshua, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin – only Chisora has not gone on to hold at least a version of the world heavyweight title.
Joyce – with a KO ratio of 92% – looks to be holding all the aces though. He has truly relentless endurance and is physically much bigger than Takam. Furthermore, not only can he really crack with the right hand, he also displayed huge resilience and a wonderful chin to walk through some huge shots from Dubois back in November.
He bossed that fight with a ramrod jab and that could again be the key weapon on Saturday. His consistently punishing attacks with the jab and overhand right eventually fractured the left eye socket of Dubois, forcing him to sit it out in the 10th after going down. He will tower over Takam on the night and will look to use his physical advantages to chop down the crafty veteran.
Takam showed against Joshua he is durable, and will see this as a last opportunity to catapult himself back towards the heavyweight top table. However, when you get right down to it, this is a contest between two fighters whose careers are going in entirely different directions.
Joyce looks too big and too fresh for the Gallic veteran, and the pick is for ‘The Juggernaut’ to emerge victorious in the second half of what could be a hellacious contest while it lasts.
Joyce vs Takam predictions and tips
- Joyce to win in rounds 7 – 12 at 7/5 (Paddy Power)
- Joyce to win in round 7 at 10/1 (Sky Bet)