Anthony Joshua Faces New Opponent for Heavyweight Clash
Anthony Joshua will now face Carlos Takam in the defence of his world heavyweight title on October 28th after mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev was forced to pull out of the bout through injury.
28-year-old Joshua was due to face Bulgarian Pulev, the mandatory challenger, to defend his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium a week on Saturday.
The sell-out fight will still go ahead but will now see Joshua facing Frenchman Takam instead after Pulev suffered a shoulder injury while training.
When the Joshua v Pulev fight was agreed, Joshua’s camp asked Takam to prepare as a standby option should such a situation occur. This contingency plan was sensible and gives the third ranked boxer a chance to claim two titles.
Boxing promoter, Eddie Hearn said of the switch of opponent:
I received a call from Kalle Sauerland late afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and may be ruled out of the fight – this was later confirmed by his doctor. IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line, which is Carlos Takam. When the Pulev fight was announced, I made a deal with Takam’s team to begin camp and be on standby for this fight. When I called them this evening, they were overjoyed and good to go.– Eddie Hearn, Boxing Promoter
Hearn did admit that the change of opponent had affected undefeated Joshua’s preparation for the bout and acknowledged that the challenge offered by Takem is different to that of Pulev.
Why Is Takam a Different Challenge to Pulev?
On paper, Takam is a more explosive fighter than Pulev. His career record shows 39 fights with 35 wins, 27 being by way of a knockout which gives him a KO rate of 69%. He has 3 defeats and 1 draw. In his fights, he has boxed a total of 184 rounds which gives Takam an average rounds per fight total of 4.71.
Pulev is the same age as Takam at 36 and his career stats are 26 fights with only 1 defeat (against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014). Pulev has had 13 fewer fights than Takam but tellingly he has fought almost as many rounds at 174. This gives Pulev an average rounds per fight figure of 6.69 with a knockout percentage of 50.
Joshua will be confident going into his first fight since the scintillating encounter with Wladimir Klitschko, and with a record of 19 wins from 19 fights and a 100% knock-out record that confidence is justified.
Joshua however, feels it is only a matter of time until he is defeated. Speaking on Skysports news the Watford born boxer said:
History is there to be reset but I look at the all the fighters that I follow or admire and they were champions and then they lost, then had to come back and be champion. Unless I have a miracle journey that we have never seen before, I just know that history has been written and this is what happens. There will be a time when I probably get beat and it’s up to me to come back and try to redeem myself.– Anthony Joshua , Boxer
The bookies however, don’t believe this will be the fight Joshua loses, as early prices show Takam as a 12/1 outside shot with Anthony 1/66 to retain his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.
The confirmed undercard features the WBA female lightweight title, the WBC Silver heavyweight title, the Commonwealth heavyweight title and the British & Commonwealth light heavyweight title fights.