Joe Joyce believes he is now a heavyweight contender as he prepares to fight Carlos Takam.
Joyce had been expected to fight Oleksandr Usyk, but the failure of Anthony Joshua to make a fight with Tyson Fury upended the boxing schedule and left the 35-year-old Olympian with a task to find a new opponent.
He will now face Frenchman Carlos Takam at the weekend on 24 July, a fighter who had been put forward as a potential opponent for Fury last winter.
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It was around the same time that Joyce had his most recent fight, a bruising encounter - for his opponent - against Daniel Dubois. Dubois was forced to concede the match mid-round after he could no longer take any more punishment to his eye socket from Joyce’s jab.
Joyce sees that win as a vital moment in his professional career.
"It was a turning point for me, where I went from an underdog to pretty much a fully fledged prospect," explained Joyce to Boxing Scene.
"It was a fight where everyone thought I was going to lose and even get knocked out in the first few rounds.
"I proved a lot of people wrong and won a lot of people money for Christmas."
Joyce suggested that 23-year-old Dubois had been the fighter with the pressure on him, whereas Joyce’s experience stands him in good stead for any challenge.
"Yeah it was less pressure and the heat was on Dubois. I've been in a lot bigger fights, the Olympics for instance, with a lot of people watching me, so I am used to the pressure. I just get on with it and perform on the night.”