Joe Joyce is one step closer to achieving his lifelong dream of becoming the ‘undisputed heavyweight champion of the world’.
The Putney-based boxer has been made mandatory challenger for the WBO heavyweight title, which is currently held by fellow British fighter Anthony Joshua, who will defend his belts against Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on September 25 .
Joyce’s next fight is on July 24 when he faces Carlos Takam at the SSE Arena next to Wembley Stadium and knows he can stake his claim for a world title shot with a crushing win over the French-Cameroonian on Saturday night.
“Amazing news,” he said. “It’s such a great opportunity.
“I just can’t wait to get in and beat Takam. So no mistakes, I just have to go in there and give it my all and get the job done.
“I have to deal with what’s in front of me. I can’t be thinking too far ahead because that is when you end up getting caught.
“So you have to deal with what is in front of you and then you can move onto bigger and better things.”
In an exclusive interview with Donald McRae for The Guardian, Joyce admitted he could have pursued a career as a professional artist before turning to boxing in his early 20s but “the aim is to become the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”
Sam Jones, Joyce’s manager, told Sky Sports: “There is a possibility Joe and Joshua could fight in Nigeria.
“They are both of Nigerian descent so that could be huge.
“If AJ needs a dance partner in Nigeria, look no further. That fight would be something very, very special.
“Joe would relish the thought of fighting Joshua in Nigeria, but he also would fight Tyson Fury in Las Vegas or in a stadium in the UK.”
Takam, 40, boasts 39 wins and a draw from 45 bouts.
“Hopefully Joshua and Fury get it on, and Joe will get the winner,” said Jones.
“Joe’s time will come. He wants to see Joshua vs Fury too – there needs to be an undisputed title fight. He doesn’t care who wins.
“What is Joyce, in the prime of his life at 35, going to get from fighting a no-hoper?
“We want to build on the [Daniel] Dubois fight against a name that people know, and someone who will have a go.
“Joe is in a great position and we could take an easier fight but he isn’t like that. Joe wouldn’t be up for fighting a no-hoper.
“Takam is notorious for having a go. He’s dangerous, he has operated at the world level for a long time.”