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Joe Joyce stops Christian Hammer in four, Zolani Tete knocks out Jason Cunningham

Joyce stops Hammer in four, Tete knocks out Cunningham
© Reuters
Joe Joyce remains on course for a shot at a world heavyweight title with a fourth-round stoppage of Christian Hammer at Wembley Arena.

Joe Joyce has extended his unbeaten professional record to 14 matches with a fourth-round stoppage of Christian Hammer.

The British heavyweight was competing in his first fight for almost a year, and the 36-year-old took far too many clean shots against an opponent who has now taken on journeyman status.

On numerous occasions during the opening two rounds, Hammer connected with overhand rights, even if they seemingly failed to make a dent in the Olympic silver medallist.

Joyce continued to plough forward as Hammer visibly ran out of steam, the first of four knockdowns occurring at the back end of the third round.

The number-one-ranked challenger in the WBO then dropped Hammer three times in the following session, the first and concluding knockdowns coming courtesy of body shots.

While Joyce will now look to fight the winner of the clash between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua, he will feel that he must improve defensively ahead of a clash with either of those fighters.

Promoter Frank Warren has suggested that Joyce will fight again on September 24 with the view of competing for the WBO title after that outing.

Zolani Tete on his way to knocking out Jason Cunningham on July 2, 2022.© Reuters

In the chief support, Jason Cunningham lost his Commonwealth super-bantamweight title in a one-sided defeat to Zolani Tete.

Cunningham had been hoping to put himself into world title contention with the standout win of his career, but he was never in the fight with the two-weight world champion.

Tete controlled the opening rounds with his jab, which appeared to be discouraging Cunningham from showing any ambition, and the South African closed the show in style at the start of the fourth.

After Cunningham tentatively came forward, a straight left hand from Tete heavily floored the champion, who did well to make it back to his feet inside the 10 count.

However, a flurry of punches was completed with a crushing right, again sending Cunningham to the canvas and leading to the referee waving off the contest.

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