Joe Joyce knocks out Carlos Takam in sixth round

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Joe Joyce solidified his position as a next-in-line heavyweight title contender.

The 35-year-old Londoner stopped veteran Carlos Takam in the sixth round of a scheduled 12-rounder that was billed as a WBC title eliminator Saturday at SSE Arena in London.

Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) already was the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua’s WBO title.

The 2016 silver medalist was coming off a break-through 10th-round stoppage of local rival Daniel Dubois this past November, which made him the WBO mandatory.

Takam (39-6-1, 28 KOs) had won four consecutive fights since back-to-back knockout losses against Joshua and Derek Chisora in 2017 and 2018 but he was no match for his taller, bigger and more-talented opponent on Saturday night.

Joe Joyce celebrates after stopping Carlos Takam on Saturday. Press Association via AP Images

The Cameroon-born Frenchman, 40, was competitive for much of the short fight. Joyce pushed the action but both fighters landed scoring punches for four-plus rounds.

Takam, perhaps tired, seemed to slow down somewhat in Round 5 but he continued to exchange punches with Joyce and hold his own.

Then came the punch that led to Takam’s demise. Joyce hurt him with a straight right seconds after the bell to begin Round 6 and followed with a barrage of hard, unanswered punches that lasted around 45 seconds.

Referee Steve Gray finally decided that Takam couldn’t defend himself and stopped the fight. The official time was 49 seconds into Round 6.

Joyce is now a prime candidate to challenge one of the winners of the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder (Oct. 9) and Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk (Sept. 25) fights for a share of the heavyweight championship.

After the fight, he made his preference clear: “What I want is AJ or Usyk!”