Queensberry: Joyce vs Takam Predictions & Results
Joyce vs Takam: Main Event
Joe Joyce (12-0, 11KO) vs Carlos Takam (39-5-1, 28KO)
WBC Silver Heavyweight Title
WBO International Heavyweight Title
Well, well, well. Joyce finally seems to have earned the respect he deserves. Harshly snubbed the Olympic Gold, Joyce has spent much of his professional career under the cosh from fans. Obviously, the robotic interviews haven’t aided his self-marketing, but Joyce’s style isn’t the most attractive to watch. Even during the early stages of his career, Joyce lumbered to stoppage victories over Bermane Stiverne’s corpse, Iago Kiladze and arguably lost on points to Bryant Jennings. Despite coming on top in 50/50 exchanges, the awkward rock-em-sock-em robot arm punches belie the power Joyce’s heavy hands are delivering.
The victory over Daniel Dubois was a jabbing masterclass. Joyce showcased his expert game planning and mental strength, as he remained true to his jab even during the sketchier early rounds. By limiting his shots mostly to the lead hand, Joyce used his right hand to parry Dubois’ jab and prevent the younger fighter from settling into any rhythm. Having never won the jabbing battle before, Dubois was left clueless by the middle rounds as he was unable to set his preferred tempo. Instead, Joyce continued to probe with his jab and clocked up regular rounds. While Dubois did land some heavy artillery, especially during the second round, Joyce’s chin and ability to see every shot coming meant he survived relatively comfortably.
Against Takam, expect Joyce to show a similar level of respect that was given to Dubois’ dynamite. Worryingly, Michael Wallisch was able to land somewhat freely on the inside during their three-round war. With a 5″ height advantage (no reach difference, however), and considerable weight difference, Joyce can choose to wrap up Takam in the pocket. Weighing down on his older opponent will drain the gas tank and enable the Brit to reset his feet (a glaring hole in Joyce’s game). If Joyce can ride through an early struggle, his relentless volume will surely find the kill during the championship rounds.
Age is a funny number in boxing. At first glance, only five years is separating Joyce (35) and Takam (40). While Heavyweight is a division with the longest grace period for older technical fighters, it is also the least forgiving in regards to athletic decline. Takam hasn’t fallen off a cliff just yet, but there are many miles clocked on his body. Victories over Senad Gashi and Fabio Maldonado have served well to keep Takam active in the WBC and WBO rankings, but they are hardly top scalps.
Perhaps most indicative of the state of Takam was his TKO loss to Chisora. While the well-loved Brit has long been a career underachiever, Takam poured everything into the first six rounds with little to show for. With Joyce’s granite chin, Takam is going to have an even harder job at towering the skyscraper. Worse yet, Joyce may at times look plodding and methodical, but his relentless volume cannot be denied. For Takam to spend everything early in search of the stoppage has a slim chance of succeeding. If it fails though, Takam effectively guarantees a Joyce victory via attritional warfare. Worse yet for Takam, he has failed to stop an opponent in his last three. To go the distance with forty-one year old Brazilian, Fabio Maldonado is pretty woeful.
There is a lot left to love with Takam though. Freakish reach for his height combines with a low lead hand to spear out a powerful jab at awkward angles. Although the hand speed has slowed, Takam torques his right hook around an opponent’s guard, who misjudge the Cameroonian’s reach. The feet are certainly gone from beneath Takam though. Either pressing opponents to the ropes and teeing off to the body with foreheads touching or standing stoic in the centre and swinging, Takam employs a crushing style. Unfortunately for Takam, it is a style based on durability and volume. With a weathered chin and spluttering gas tank, he struggles to keep his old pace for longer than a minute during the later rounds.
Predicted Result: Joyce TKO Round 7
There is a lot left to love with Takam. Freakish reach for his height combines with a low lead hand to spear out a powerful jab at awkward angles. Setting a gruelling early pace, Takam presses opponents to the ropes, tees off to the body, and counters as opponents attempt to reset. Unfortunately for Takam, it is a style based on durability and volume. Even against the corpse of Fabio Maldonado, Takam struggled to dictate position after the early rounds and his lack of legs were visible. If Joyce survives the early barrage, the Brit pushes a similarly relentless volume on the front foot and will have ample opportunity to unravel Takam’s lazy feet during the later rounds.
Joyce’s victory over Daniel Dubois was a jabbing masterclass. Showcasing expert game planning and mental strength, Joyce remained true to his jab even during the sketchier early rounds. Joyce’s chin was called upon during the second round, in particular, benefiting as well from seeing all of Dubois’ shots coming. Against Takam, Joyce can utilise his 5″ height advantage and considerable weight difference to wrap up Takam. Weighing on the older man will drain the already suspect gas tank and reset position if Joyce finds himself against the ropes. Expecting tense early rounds as Joyce soaks up the pressure, before pulling away in the middle rounds against a flailing Takam.
Result: Joyce def. Takam // TKO Round 6 0:49
Joyce vs Takam: Co-Main Event
Chris Jenkins (22-3-3, 8KO) vs Ekow Essuman (14-0, 5KO)
Commonwealth Welterweight Title
British Welterweight Title
Welshman, Chris Jenkins, is a typically solid Commonwealth level opponent. With a wealth of experience at the amateur level, Jenkins has overcome an awful spell between 2015-2018 to finally climb out of professional obscurity. Securing the British title against Johnny Garton, Jenkins then went on to secure the Commonwealth over Paddy Gallagher. Jenkins’ last two fights have been overshadowed with unfortunate circumstances, cuts twice causing his fights to end abruptly and going to Technical Decisions. Although not the most attractive name on the roster, the Welshman always brings the action. Regularly dropping his hands to unload extended combinations, Jenkins lives by the age-old creed of ‘take one to give one’. Against more physically imposing talents, Jenkins will come undone during the 50/50 exchanges. The preferred shot is a simple left shift into an arching right hand. It is telegraphed, however. Even Johnny Garton was able to time a counter right hook by the eleventh round. Sharper counter punchers will spy the opportunity far earlier and with greater effect.
Former English Welterweight champion and current IBF European champion, Ekko Essuman is taking calculated steps towards the top. More than happy to engage in a war on the front foot, Essuman will happily be dragged into a brawl with Jenkins. As the sharper puncher, Essuman should land more frequently, however, his chin will truly be tested. As is common with Commonwealth/British battles, this is the true litmus test for a hot prospect. Constantly breaking down an opponent’s body, Essuman’s lunging liver shot often finds the mark. It isn’t a style that will translate well up the rankings, but there are few physical specimens at this level to keep up with Essuman’s pace.
Predicted Result: Essuman TKO Round 11
Both Jenkins and Essuman love to brawl on the front foot and should prove to be a barnburner on Saturday night. Jenkins’, the Commonwealth and British champ, prefers simple shifts with arching shots over the top. While crisp scoring shots, his hand’s low style and telegraphed movement leaves him vulnerable to counters. Even Johnny Garton was able to land counters by the championship rounds. Essuman isn’t a notorious counter-puncher, but due to the sheer volume he pours out, he will undoubtedly catch Jenkins’ at some point. While the Welshman is prone to being knocked down and recovering, Essuman is a relentless finisher. As is common with Commonwealth/British battles, this is the true litmus test for the hot prospect.
Result: Essuman def. Jenkins // TKO Round 8 0:43
Joyce vs Takam: Rest of the Card
Hamzah Sheeraz (12-0, 8KO) vs Ezequiel Gurria (15-1, 3KO)
Super Welterweight (154)
WBO European Super Welterweight Title
WBO European Super Welterweight champion, Hamzah Sheeraz, once again looks to defend his belt against international competition. Only twenty-two years old, the prospect needn’t rush his career, but he already looks far too slick for competition at his current level. Tall for the weight, Sheeraz doesn’t utilise his reach but instead opts to break opponents against the ropes. Stalking forward behind a high guard, Sheeraz’s hand speed allows him to land sharp combinations. A beautiful combination that Sheeraz tries regularly is the right straight into the left hook body to left uppercut. After doubling up on his lead hand, Sheeraz showcases his ring generalship by throwing a loopy right hook to prevent opponents from escaping the ropes.
Spaniard, Ezequiel Gurria, a one-time Spanish champ leaves his native country to fight for the first time. Upon reviewing his victory over Fernando Heredia (3-7) and KO koss to David Soria (8-0), it is apparent the back-foot fighter has been hand-picked by Warren. Always back-peddling, Gurria voluntarily backs himself against the ropes. A switch-hitter, Gurria’s offence is largely reduced to jabs and counter uppercuts. The Spaniard does offer awkward angles due to the regular stance changes, but he lacks the head movement to stay safe on the ropes.
Predicted Result: Sheeraz TKO Round 6
WBO European Super Welterweight champion, Hamzah Sheeraz, is a ridiculously talented prospect for just a twenty-two year old. Tall for the weight, Sheeraz opts to break opponents against the ropes. Gurria, a one-time Spanish champ who is leaving his native country for the first time, has surely been hand-picked by Warren. Fighting solely off the back-foot and voluntarily backing himself against the ropes, Gurria lacks the head movement to stay safe. Although offering awkward angles through his switch-hitting style, Sheeraz will be able to find the Spaniard’s head and body all night.
Result: Sheeraz def. Gurria // TKO Round 5 2:23
Chris Bourke (9-0, 6KO) vs James Beech Jnr (12-1, 2KO)
Super Bantamweight (122)
WBC International Super Bantamweight Title
Despite a second-round stoppage over Michael Ramabeletsa, it is difficult to get too excited over Chris Bourke just yet. The Londoner’s power is undeniable, yet the low volume will become an issue. Using his lead hand to hand fight and occasionally probe with a body jab, Bourke aims to set opponents onto his lethal left hand. Relying on footwork rather than head movement, Bourke limits his opportunities to counter, but as it has become apparent, he only needs one.
James Beech Jnr
Having spent much of his career honing his craft against journeymen, it was a big ask for James Beech Jnr when he fought Brad Foster for the Commonwealth/British titles. Having taken a year out, the cut sustained during the fourth round will surely have had sufficient time to heal. Despite the defeat, Beech Jnr showed incredible durability and heart to make it to the final bell. Opting to duck low and spring up with uppercuts, Beech Jnr caught Foster flush a couple of times. Unfortunately, when Beech Jnr did find success on the front foot, he often lingered to admire his work. Foster, a quality above, punished Beech Jnr with hard counters and reversed any momentum the West Midlands gained.
Predicted Result: Bourke Decision
Despite a second-round stoppage over Michael Ramabeletsa, it is difficult to get too excited over Chris Bourke just yet. The Londoner’s power is undeniable, yet low volume will emerge as an issue. Using his lead hand to hand fight and occasionally probe with a body jab, Bourke aims to set opponents onto his lethal left hand. Beech Jnr showcased his durability and heart in a losing performance against Brad Foster, but offered little else. When Beech Jr found success on the front foot, he lingered in the pocket admiring his work. Foster stunned Beech Jr a few times but failed to put the West Midlands man away. Bourke only needs the one shot to truly punish Beech Jnr. A seemingly awful stylistic match-up, with perhaps only Beech Jnr’s volume and activity posing any sort of path to victory.
Result: Bourke def. Beech Jnr // Decision (unanimous – 99-92, 99-91, 100-90)
David Adeleye (6-0, 5KO) vs Mladen Manev (3-9, 2KO)
Hahahaha. So. Let’s get this straight, shall we? After certainly losing on points to Kamil Sokolowski, only for Uncle Frank to bail out the prospect with a stinky scorecard, David Adeleye now takes two steps back to face Mladen Manev? Every fan understands that Adeleye is a young prospect, but at a certain point, this KO stat-padding becomes ludicrous. Despite a handful of decent counter rights against Sokolowski, Adeleye was bullied against the ropes and unable to maintain a comfortable mid-range where he usually thrives. Without a regular jab, Adeleye bleeds rounds and effectively banks on his power to secure knockdowns.
Bulgarian journeyman, Mladen Manev, is a common call-up for British prospects. Giving rounds to Solomon Dacres, Alex Dickinson and Naylor Ball, Manev is the typical high guard live body. Never really expending any energy or opening himself up to unnecessary risk, Manev at least presses forward on occasion and tries to land short combinations. It is a shame that he is probably a LHW if he shrugged off the beer belly.
Predicted Result: Adeleye TKO Round 4
After certainly losing on points to Kamil Sokolowski, only for Uncle Frank to bail out the prospect with a stinky scorecard, Adeleye takes two steps back to face Mladen Manev. A powerful counter puncher Adeleye was lost at sea when Sokolowski didn’t wilt in the clinch. Manev, a LHW if he shrugged off the beer belly, doesn’t pose the same knockout threat. A Bulgarian journeyman, Manev at least attempts to unload the occasional short combination. A step up from debutant Dave Preston, an entire planet away from Sokolowski.
Result: Adeleye def. Manev // TKO Round 4 1:54
Micky Burke (4-0, 1KO) vs Paul Cummings (2-49)
Twenty-year-old undefeated prospect, Mickey Burke, found his stopping power last time out. Stopping Tommy Broadbent in the second round, the young Welterweight broke Broadbent early with the jab. A little naive on the back-foot, perhaps not expecting Broadbent to fight as the aggressor, Burke’s class at the mid-range was stark. Sometimes at fault for smothering his work, and with definite improvements needed on the inside, the future is bright for Burke.
Journeyman, Paul Cummings, represents another step back for a Warren fighter on Saturday. Ridiculously durable, the elderly gangly frame of Cummings often manages to get fighters necessary rounds. There isn’t much in the way of offence outside of a few arm punches, but Cummings is a tricky fighter to unravel.
Predicted Result: Burke Decision
Twenty-year-old undefeated prospect, Mickey Burke, found his stopping power last time out. Stopping Tommy Broadbent in the second round, the young Welterweight was perhaps a little naïve on the back-foot. Definite work is needed on Burke’s inside game, yet Burke’s confidence at mid-range is notable for his age. Journeyman, Paul Cummings, represents another step back for a Warren fighter on Saturday. Durable, of course, but the Cummings’ arm punches do little in way of damage – offering only a tight defence to unravel for six rounds.
Result: Burke def. Cummings // KO Round 4 2:12
Sam Noakes (6-0, 6KO) vs Michael Isaac Carrero (13-64-6, 6KO)
There’s a growing fan base behind Sam Noakes, and there’s no wonder why. The Kent man has secured six stoppages in six fights, an incredible achievement when you realise this is at Lightweight. Of course, there was a similar feeling when Lewis Ritson was slicing through British level competition – and we all know how that story (has so far) ended. Incredibly powerful, Noakes keeps opponents under the heat and aims to land his shots on anything, including the guard.
Michael Isaac Carrero
I’m sure Warren will attempt to bill this as an international step-up for Noakes, but Nicaraguan, Michael Carrero, is an international journeyman. Without a win in six years (which came against a 0-11 fellow Nicaraguan), Carrero has tasted defeat sixty-four times over his career. Now thirty-five, with sixteen knockout losses to his name, and a tendency to be stopped when plying his trade in the UK, Carrero is going to struggle to live with Noakes.
Predicted Result: Noakes TKO Round 2
There’s a growing fan base behind Sam Noakes, and there’s no wonder why. The Kent man has secured six stoppages in six fights, an incredible achievement when you realise this is at Lightweight. Of course, there was a similar feeling when Lewis Ritson was slicing through British level competition – and we all know how that story (has so far) ended. Nicaraguan journeyman, Michael Carrero, is a familiar face on the UK scene. Now thirty-five, with sixteen knockout losses to his name, Carrero is going to struggle to live with Noakes.
Result: Noakes def. Ali (*replacement) // TKO (retired) Round 2 3:00
George Fox (3-0) vs Reece Barlow (DEBUT)
Fox hasn’t fought since the end of 2019, and without any other confirmation, one can only assume the lay-off was COVID-induced. Son of Don Charles, Dereck Chisora’s former long-term trainer, George Fox has spent a lot of time surrounded by the big man. A tall man with long levers, Fox draws opponents onto his shots rather than utilising his range. Instead of a frequent jab, Fox prefers to hold opponent’s heads with his lead hand and mask his right hand.
After a bit of research, I was finally able to locate the social medias of Reece Barlow. Applied for his professional licence back at the start of 2021… and that’s about it. I cannot find any sparring videos or any suitable footage to gain a real read. What a strange fill-in for a Warren show.
Predicted Result: Fox Decision
Fox, son of Don Charles, Dereck Chisora’s former long-term trainer, returns after a two-year layoff. A tall man with long levers, Fox draws opponents onto his shots rather than utilising his range. Opponent, Reece Barlow, has been an awfully difficult man to track down. Having found his social media, aside from confirming his boxing licence in early 2021, there is no footage to review. Very strange choice of an opponent from Ol’ Frankie.
Result: Fox def. Barlow // Decision (referee’s scorecard – 40-36)
Joyce vs Takam
2021 Boxing Season
Takeaway comments: Despite the criticism, Joe Joyce emerges victorious once again. When will pundits learn that his style is never going to be aesthetically pleasing.
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