By Charles Brun: The European Boxing Union has ordered Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce and former WBO world cruiserweight champion Marco Huck to fight for their vacant EBU heavyweight title. A purse bid has been scheduled for next month on October 10 if the management for the two fighters fail to negotiate the fight.
Huck hasn’t looked good since 2016
This is a peculiar choice for the EBU to make in selecting 34-year-old Huck (41-5-1, 28 KOs) to face the unbeaten Joyce (10-0, 9 KOs) for their vacant heavyweight title, because there are better fighters that could have been chosen. Although both fighters are the same age at 34, the 2016 Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist Joyce is fighting at a much higher level than the German Huck.
Joyce recently defeated Bryant Jennings, Alexander Ustinov, Bermane Stiverne and Iago Kiladze. The 6’6″ British heavyweight Joyce has been compared to a young George Foreman with the way he’s been bludgeoning his opposition into submission.
Like Foreman, Joyce is a slower heavyweight, but powerful with a great jab, and excellent footwork for a fighter his size. Huck has looked poor in losing to Oleksandr Usyk by a 10th round knockout in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament on September 9, 2017. Usyk went on to capture the Muhammad Ali Trophy in beating Murat Gassiev in the final to win the WBSS tourney.
Huck was little more than a speed bump for Usyk. He looked terrible, and nothing like the fighter that had beaten the likes of Denis Lebedev, Ola Afolabi, Firat Arslan, Dmytro Kucher and Victor Emilio Ramirez. Following his loss to Usyk, Huck has beaten Yakup Saglam and fought Nick Guivas in a fight that was ruled a 1st round no contest last May. The fight was stopped after Huck fouled Guivas by hitting him on the break.
Joyce taking a step backwards with career
The unbeaten Joyce needs to carefully consider whether it’s worth it for him to fight Huck for the EBU strap, because this is a backwards move for his career from his last two opponents Bryant Jennings and Ustinov. Joyce is about to turn 35, and he can’t waste his time fighting guys like Huck that no longer are fighting at a high level. Moreover, Huck has only had three fights at heavyweight during his 15-year professional career.
You can argue that Huck isn’t a true heavyweight, and he can’t help Joyce in any way other than giving him a name to put on his resume. If Joyce were 25-years-old, and had 10 to 15 years ahead of him in the pro ranks, then it would make sense for him to take the fight with Huck. That’s not the case though. Joyce is in his mid-30s, and he’s supposed to be on an accelerated path to getting a world title shot.
Daniel Dubois is the perfect choice for Joyce to fight right now rather than Huck.