Joe Joyce expects to be the first challenger to the undisputed heavyweight champion if he remains undefeated against Carlos Takam on Saturday.
Joyce has been confirmed as the next WBO mandatory challenger after Oleksandr Usyk, the current incumbent, challenges world champion Anthony Joshua on September 25, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
IBF, WBA and WBO titleholder Joshua hopes to finally crown the division’s king by facing WBC champion Tyson Fury, who will first meet Deontay Wilder on October 9.
Unbeaten Joyce would then receive a shot at the belt next year.
“I’ve got a big test in Takam so I won’t look too far ahead because this is a tough fight,” he said.
“I need to beat Takam up to make a statement so I can go on to win a world title.
“Takam gives it his all and he’s a hard fight. It might take a few rounds, it might take all the rounds, but I will get the job done then cruise on to a world title.”
Joyce displayed his height advantage over the compact veteran Takam during a steely face-off on Thursday.
Cameroon-born Takam has previously gone 10 rounds with Joshua and eight rounds with Derek Chisora.
Joyce’s manager Sam Jones teased he had covertly been sent footage of Takam sparring from within his camp.
“I had someone show me the footage,” Jones told Takam.
“I’ve watched all your spars, I know the game plan.”
Takam hit back: “Because you are scared.”
Takam replied Francis Ngannou, the UFC heavyweight champion, had tipped him off that Joyce is “not a technical boxer”.
Jones said: “Carlos will come forwards, he is a decent boxer, he is tough and strong. He goes in with the head.
“[Joyce] will more spiteful on Saturday.”
Takam, now 40 and a veteran of 45 fights, insisted: “I am the best Takam you have seen, the best ever.”
His promoter Joe DeGuardia previously told Sky Sports: “While a knockout over a 6’6″ 260 lb giant like Joe Joyce may seem unlikely, Carlos has the strength, tools, experience and foundation to piece together a performance that can very well lead to a sensational KO.”
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