Joe Joyce stops Christian Hammer in four rounds, retains WBO mandatory status

Joe Joyce stopped Christian Hammer in four rounds Saturday night at Wembley Arena in London to retain his No. 1 status with the WBO and WBC.

With the win, the 36-year-old Joyce is set to earn a title shot by as early as this year or early 2023.

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist, typically a slow starter, was caught by a right hand in the opening round but was in complete control by the third round as he dropped Hammer at the end of the frame. He continued to batter his outmatched opponent before stopping Germany's Hammer (27-10, 17 KOs) with a body shot.

Joyce's next move all depends on what happens on Aug. 20.

Three-belt unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, of Ukraine, faces England's Anthony Joshua in a rematch in Saudi Arabia, and Tyson Fury, the WBC titlist, who insists he is retired, has not formally relinquished the title. If Fury opts to face the winner of Usyk-Joshua II, Joyce will likely be asked to wait just a bit longer.

Joyce is expected to fight again in September.

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