Former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew views unbeaten heavyweight Joe Joyce as a very tough out for any fighter in boxing's biggest weight class.
Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) moved a step closer to a world title shot on Saturday night, when he stopped veteran Carlos Takam in the sixth round of action at the SSE Arena at Wembley.
The win was Joyce's first ring appearance since stopping Daniel Dubois in highly anticipated fight in 2019.
Joyce, 35-years-old, will eventually become the WBO's mandatory challenger.
The current mandatory, Oleksandr Usyk, will challenger world champion Anthony Joshua on September 25.
Bellew tabs the massive Joyce as a problem opponent for anyone in the top ten - including Joshua and WBC world champion Tyson Fury.
“He is a problem for anyone in the world. Purely based on the fact that he’s gonna be there at the final bell and he’s gonna make you work. But do you know what? It doesn’t even need to get to the final bell," Bellew explained to Talk Sport.
“He’s there after six rounds – 90 percent of these heavyweights are gonna be feeling the pace after six and he doesn’t. He just keeps coming and coming. I don’t care if you’re Anthony Joshua, if you’re Tyson Fury, if you’re Deontay Wilder – if you don’t get rid of Joe Joyce, after six you’ve got a problem."
Bellew credits the stamina and rock-hard chin of Joyce as the biggest terrors for his opponents.
Against a big puncher like Dubois, Joyce was able to take his best shots for the first six rounds and never stopped coming, and never stopped punching, until he secured a stoppage.
“And that’s what you’ve gotta understand when you’re fighting someone like him, you’ve gotta be prepared to go to hell for twelve rounds. You’ve got to be in unbelievable shape. And don’t get me wrong, Anthony Joshua is probably the best conditioned heavyweight of the last 20 years, but this Joe Joyce is a different kind of animal," Bellew said.
“He doesn’t even need to do much work, he’s just walking you down. It must be so much of a lift and confidence booster for a fighter going into a fight thinking, ‘These guys just can’t hurt me.’ It’s not like these are featherweights hitting him, these are 17 stone, 18 stone, 19 stone men hitting him with everything they’ve got. He’s the modern-day Terminator, the human Terminator, he doesn’t stop.”
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