Joe Joyce was honest.
The big British heavyweight definitely felt some of those right hands Carlos Takam landed Saturday night. The 35-year-old Joyce, who is known for his iron chin, even acknowledged that Takam managed to hurt him slightly during an action-packed fight Joyce won by sixth-round technical knockout at Wembley Arena in London.
“Yeah, I mean, mildly,” Joyce said during a post-fight interview with BT Sport. “I’m pretty tough as they come. So, you know, I weathered the storm and fired right back.”
The 6-feet-6, 263-pound Joyce also explained that he didn’t take the full brunt of some of Takam’s punches.
“It has to do with technical skill and tactics and, you know, being able to ride shots, block shots, use my footwork,” Joyce said. “It’s like, you know, the sweet science of boxing. So, I used that to great effect.”
Takam caught Joyce with numerous overhand rights in the first five rounds of what developed into a very competitive fight. As soon as the sixth round began, however, Joyce clipped Takam with a left hook that hurt him and made him stumble backward.
Joyce immediately attempted to finish his vulnerable opponent. After landing various unanswered power punches, referee Steve Gray stepped between them and stopped the action 49 seconds into the sixth round.
Takam never went down during their fight and protested what he considered a premature stoppage with Gray.
“He didn’t say anything about the stoppage,” Joyce said of his own post-fight discussion with Takam. “We were just having a chat like, yeah, just talking to each other, like paying our respects and stuff because, yeah, it was a good fight. He’s a warrior. He’s been in so many great fights and stuff, so yeah, man, it was a good fight.”
Though he improved to 13-0, recorded his 12th knockout and remains the WBO’s mandatory challenger for the Anthony Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk winner, Joyce knows there are plenty of improvements he can make following this performance against a 40-year-old Takam (39-6-1, 28 KOs).
“When I get back to the hotel,” Joyce said, “I tend to watch my fights back and analyze my performance, see where I can improve, see where I got caught and, you know, learn from my mistakes. You know, if I get hit with silly shots, then, you know, there’s something I can work on in the gym and keep on improving.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.