After stripping Agit Kabayel of his heavyweight title for pulling out of a purse bid last month, the European Boxing Union has ordered mandatory challenger Joe Joyce to face former longtime cruiserweight champion Marco Huck for the vacant belt. The pair have until October 10th to negotiate before going to a purse bid.
The 34-year-old Joyce (10-0, 9 KO) has already fought five times in the last 12 months. His 2019 campaign has seen him demolish Bermane Stiverne and Alexander Ustinov before going the distance for the first time against a very game Bryant Jennings in July.
That last fight raised questions about his ceiling, primarily (as Scott put it) due to “The Juggernaut’s” lack of “speed of any kind,” but Huck (41-5-1, 28 KO) is ostensibly below said ceiling. “Cap’n Huck” moved to heavyweight last year after a 2-3 skid that included losses to Krzysztof Glowacki, Mairis Briedis, and Oleksandr Usyk, none of which are anything to be ashamed of, but a knockout of Yukup Saglam and a trashing-turned-no-contest against Nick Guivas aren’t enough to suggest he’s still got the goods to be a contender.
Still, Huck’s a tricksy bastard who’ll have a speed advantage, so at least there’s some intrigue.
This is all assuming, of course, that Joyce doesn’t instead focus on his WBA “gold” title and attempt to parlay that into a shot at a more legitimate belt. Interim champ Trevor Bryan and regular champ Mahmoud Charr have been trying to come to terms since May and both look to be fairly easy pickings for Joyce.