Ricky Hatton believes that Joe Joyce has what it takes to compete at the highest level of the heavyweight division.
The 2016 Olympic silver medallist faces Carlos Takam on Saturday night and victory places him in pole position to face the winner of Anthony Joshua’s world title defence against Oleksandr Usyk on September 25th.
Joyce’s climb to the business end of boxing’s most glamorous weight class has saw him matched tough from day one.
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Last year’s win over Daniel Dubois was a performance that made the entire boxing industry take notice and Hatton, a former world champion, believes that Joyce is a hard night for both Joshua and Tyson Fury.
“He’s had 12 fights and he’s British, Commonwealth and European champion,” said Hatton in his Metro column. “There isn’t much he hasn’t done and I think he surprised a lot of people with what he did against Dubois.
“His performance was superb, he’s a nightmare for anyone with that style and that left jab of his. The amount of damage he does when he throws them is huge. Also, his punch resistance is freakish, the shots seem to just bounce off him. We have to give Joe the credit he deserves.”
“He will give Joshua and Tyson a load of problems and because of his long amateur spell that is maybe why he has to get a move on a little bit. He was a little later in years in turning pro but in fairness he’s not messed about.
“The quality of opposition he has fought has been very good, topping it off with a very dangerous fight against Dubois last time with this one against Takam this weekend. He’s not playing games. You have to say fair play to him.”