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Carl Frampton

Joe Joyce has what it takes to trouble anyone – and I believe that even includes Tyson Fury

Carl Frampton


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Joe Joyce celebrates his victory over Christian Hammer

Joe Joyce celebrates his victory over Christian Hammer

Getty Images

Joe Joyce with the WBO international heavyweight belt

Joe Joyce with the WBO international heavyweight belt

Getty Images

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Joe Joyce celebrates his victory over Christian Hammer

Joe Joyce is someone who I think can give anyone in the heavyweight division a really tough night and while there were flaws in his win over Christian Hammer last weekend at Wembley Arena, his high-tempo style and ability to take a shot will make him a problem for anyone.

On paper, it was a fourth-round win over Hammer after knocking him down a few times, but he ate four of the biggest right hands I’ve ever seen and for that reason I’m saying I don’t quite know how good a performance it was.

We all know Joe is extremely tough and fit, but he can only be taking shots like that for so long before they start to have a detrimental effect.

It will take a really big puncher to knock him out — Deontay Wilder springs to mind — as everything else just bounces off his head.

Hammer is a decent puncher, not the biggest in the world, but we saw him walk through Daniel Dubois, who is a big puncher, and he didn’t really blink.

Hammer was exhausted after two rounds as he made him fight at such a high pace and when the stoppage came, Joe wasn’t breathing heavily.

I remember him as an amateur when he came to train with the McGuigans for a while. He could have done 12 rounds on the pads at a high pace with absolutely no problems when he was only training for three-round fights.

Because of his durability and fitness, I think he gives any heavyweight on the planet a hard night and I include Tyson Fury in that.

I’m not saying he beats Fury, but because of the uncomfortable pace he forces you to fight at, it must be almost infuriating as he takes flush shots and just marches forward.

I said after the fight that the only one I would stay away from now is Wilder because he is so hittable. Whatever you think of Wilder, he is a serious puncher and while the punches may bounce off his head, there is a real chance his won’t.

He is really good value and I hope he gets his shot soon, but the way things are in the heavyweight division, it seems everything is tied up until AJ and Oleksandr Usyk fight and the winner will likely have Fury.

The Joseph Parker fight would have been ideal for both, but the question now is who does he fight that he beats but also improves him as a fighter? I think the likes of Luis Ortiz or Dillian Whyte would be ideal as at this stage he beats both.

Hammer was a decent late stand-in, but he now needs to keep his level of opposition high for when the big chance does come against an AJ, Usyk or Fury.

Nobody will do Joe Joyce any favours as you will only fight him if he is a mandatory because he will give you a hard fight.

Tete showed he is still world class

Zolani Tete was simply incredible on the same card when beating Jason Cunningham.

He lost in 2019 to John Riel Casimero who is a fellow world-class fighter and I suppose I thought that was maybe him done.

He had been pretty quiet since and going into the fight with Cunningham - who had been riding the crest of a wave as a European champion and on the verge of fighting for a world title - who gave Mick Conlan a good fight and had some good wins since, so I thought it was hard to call.

But last weekend was a prime example again that boxing is about levels between a good European fighter in Cunningham and a guy who is still world-class.

Tete was unreal. His jab was brilliant, didn’t get hit and when he got the chance to land the right hand he did and when the chance came to finish he did.

Tete is already a two-weight champion and although he is now at super-bantamweight, I see no reason why he can’t go on to win at a third weight.

Had Cunningham won, you would have expected him to maybe get his world title shot and you have to give him credit as he didn’t need to take that fight. He was in a very good position so while it was a strange decision to face Tete, you have to give him all the credit in the world for it.

I can’t wait to see McCann back in action

Dennis McCann is one of the UK’s rising stars so I’m looking forward to seeing him back in action next Saturday against James Beech Jnr.

McCann is very young and very skilful. I was at his last fight when he beat Charles Tondo on points and while he won well, he was nailed a couple of times so as his level of opposition improves, he just needs to be a bit more careful.

He really looks the part, speaks, well and can fight. He’s also really big and moves up to featherweight, but he is still a growing boy.

Another young guy, Andrew Cain blew away Luis Moreno who McCann went the distance with, but a fight between those two is a very exciting project down the line.

For me as a neutral, I’d love to see it, but if you’re Frank Warren you probably don’t put your two top prospects against each other just yet. That could well be a fight down the line for a much bigger title.

Heffron v Clarke could be classic

I’ll be back in London next week for the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight title fight between Mark Heffron and Lennox Clarke.

It’s very rare a fight at this level lets you down and with the IBF Inter-Continental title also on the line, it puts the winner in a very decent position.

Heffron can really punch and is usually in exciting fights, while Clarke is coming in off a good win against Willy Hutchinson when he won the titles, so it looks to be very well-matched and could be one the flies under the radar but turns into a classic.

I’m so proud of our Women

It may not have been the result the Northern Ireland women’s team had hoped for against Norway on Thursday at the Euros, but I think we can all be proud of how they responded in the second half.

I watched the match with my daughter, Carla, and the team has inspired her and the future generations of young players.

They were so much better in the second half and showed determination to keep going and I was especially impressed by Abbie Magee who at just 21 years of age, had a great game at left back.

Hopefully, they can build on that for their next couple of games against England and Austria, so it’s a tough group. It would be great if they could scrape a win or a draw, but it’s such an achievement to get there.


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