Frank Warren believes that Anthony Joshua might not fancy a fight with Joe Joyce, not because he doesn’t believe he can’t land on him, but if he lands and can’t knock him out, he might not know what to do next.
Joyce took plenty of big bombs from Carlos Takam at the weekend, although he seemed to just brush them off before coming back to stop the Cameroonian in the sixth round at Wembley.
The 35-year-old British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion sparred many rounds with Joshua on the Great Britain Olympic squad, is set to become the No 1 challenger to Joshua’s WBO heavyweight title after Joshua faces Oleksandr Usyk on September 25, although Warren, Joyce’s promoter, doesn’t believe many opponents will fancy fighting him.
“If I was AJ I'd be thinking, 'can I land my shots on Joe?’” Warren said. “He probably thinks so because Joe is there to be hit sometimes.
“Then 'Can he take my shots?’ Because if he can, what is Plan B?' I'm being honest about it and not saying it in a derogatory way but when AJ gets caught then he wobbles.”
Joyce was caught by plenty of clean shots by Takam, but the blows seemed to have very little impact as Joyce kept coming forward.
“I’d prefer Joe didn’t test his chin. He was getting hit on the top of his head and all sorts, but that’s the way he fights. At the age that he is, he’s only had 12 fights as a pro and he is up a level for that amount of fights.
“He absorbed it and absorbed it and Takam was gradually slowing.
“Then in the sixth round he came out and caught him, the referee was correct in what he did. If you're not firing back and taking punches, count the punches he was taking and wobbling a bit then I think the referee is dead right. I understand why they’re moaning.
“You don't want him Joe to take punches like that, do you? But I tell you something he ain’t going to be in any boring fights. He has said he will go and work on it in the gym.
“I’m worried when he gets caught, these are heavyweights. It’s not that he got caught with one, he got caught with quite a few shots and with that sort of power can you keep taking it?”
Warren believes Joyce’s punch resistance will have a demoralizing effect on most boxers.
“Especially for people who rely on their power,” he said. “They’re throwing big punches and someone is just taking them. Some of them were full blown whacks that would have taken people out. He took the shots better than AJ did. Takam wobbled AJ and that was a couple of years ago.”
The reality, though, is Joyce is still some way away from a title shot. Warren want Joyce to box again in October, by which time he might have a clearer idea how things will play out with Joshua and Tyson Fury, who is due to defend his WBC title against Deontay Wilder on October 9.
“Obviously, Tyson and Joshua both have their respective contractual commitments and if they both come through that I’m certain that they will fight each other,” Warren said.
“In that time, Joe is in the No 1 spot and mandatory. He will be either fighting the winner or fighting for a vacant title, provided he keeps winning. We will probably get him out again in October.”
One option of an opponent could be Derek Chisora, who was in the crowd at Wembley to watch.
“That would be great, wouldn’t it?” Warren said. “He comes to fight. Can Derek do what this fella did for 12 rounds?
“At the moment, I can’t see Joe being stopped by these guys. It’s not like he gets caught and shakes a bit, he’s just like ‘what’s that?' like a mosquito.
“I’ve never seen someone so appropriately named as a juggernaut. That is just what he does, he just comes forward and forward and forward. He’s relentless.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.