Joshua Stops Takam with Help from Referee

By Robert Ecksel on October 28, 2017
Joshua Stops Takam with Help from Referee
Carlos Takam is a clever block of granite. (Peter Cziborra/Action Images via Reuters)

Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua kept his knockout streak alive with a TKO stoppage of durable Carlos Takam at 1:34 of round 10…

Saturday night at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, IBF/WBA/IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), the young slugger from Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, kept his knockout streak alive with a TKO stoppage of durable Carlos Takam (35-4-1, 27 KOs), the clever block of granite from Noisy-le-Grand, Seine-Saint-Denis, France, by way of Douala, Cameroon, at 1:34 of round 10 with help from the referee.

Fighting in front of a capacity crowd of 75,000, beating the old record of 63,000 for Ali-Spinks II at the Superdome in September 1978, Sky Sports put on a terrific show where the intersection of showbiz, capital and sport was plain as day. Amid the strobe lights and pyrotechnics, the show of show, the spectacle of spectacles—there stands Anthony Joshua. Built like Adonis with power in both hands, he’s been anointed savior of the heavyweight division. But the heavyweights no more need saving than the middleweights or bantams. Boxing is what needs saving, but it’s the same old story, like saving the fallen, or retiring undefeated. Joshua needs seasoning, and lucky for him the division is not deep. But he’s the champion, our champion, and we should celebrate his presence while he’s still standing.

Fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks, Joshua is green. His signature fight against Klitschko cemented his legacy, as premature and shapeless as that legacy currently is.

Takam, fighting out of the red corner in black trunks with silver trim, made what was supposed to be an easy night against a late replacement a night to forget rather than remember. Joshua can hit hard, if he can find the target, but lacks one-punch power. Takam’s movement caused Joshua fits. At times he looked sluggish. At times he looked clueless. Everyone knew Joshua would eventually take Takam out. That was a given when he was chosen as Pulev’s understudy. But as the rounds piled up it was disheartening watching the savior of boxing struggle to stop a man eight years his senior and six inches shorter who simply refused to be stopped.

We want Joshua to win. We want him reign forever and ever and be garlanded in ivy and surrounded by virgins bearing gifts. But if he can’t end fights without the help of the referee, there may be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

The referee, Phil Edwards, seem to be waiting all night for the chance to step in and preserve Joshua’s perfect record. Takam wouldn’t oblige. He was cut over both eyes. He was bleeding. His face was a mess. But Takam wasn’t finished. He would have fought another dozen rounds if it meant he still had even the remotest chance of winning the fight. The ref failed to understand the ethos of gladiators wanting go out on their shields. He denied Takam that courtesy. Stopping the fight wasn’t a medical decision. It was a marketing decision. He wasn’t saving Takam from serious injury. He was helping Anthony Joshua save face.

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  1. Sheldon Leonard 08:43am, 10/31/2017

    Doddering old fool Phil Edwards in the photo above looks to be more focused on breaking wind than monitoring the action in front of him!

  2. Lucas McCain 07:00am, 10/30/2017

    There’s a natural suspicion directed at the Super-Sized Heavyweights, ever since we were told Michael Grant was what the future looked like, then folded (helped along by Holmes’ fouls).  True, the giants have predominated, but there are always stumbling, awkward moments and stamina questions, and the shades of Primo Carnera start haunting the imagination.  But like a few others, I’ll wait to see how Joshua matures with the title.  Remember Joe Louis was decked by Jimmy Braddock when winning the title, and then struggled to the full limit to outpoint Tommy Farr in his first title defense.  Let the young guy reconsider his conditioning and what’s missing in his skill set, and then we’ll know more

  3. Koolz 02:14pm, 10/29/2017

    What I want is The Gypsy King to come back I think he would rule the Heavy Weight Division which honestly right now is a complete and total JOKE!

    It’s such a joke I can’t even wrap my head around it.  It’s as if it’s a dying race about to go extinct.

    It would be amazing if some of the top Cruisers went up to Heavy.

  4. Kid Blast 12:33pm, 10/29/2017

    Why did the ref not penalize Takem for that head butt? It was as intentional as all get-out.  The extra weight combined with a broken nose might have played a role in AJ’s stamina not being as good as it could have been, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here.

    I’d like to see him fight Povetkin before the Russian gets too old. Even double-juicer Ortiz.

    Meanwhile, Wilder should avoid Whyte who would be very tough on a style-to-style basis.

  5. Koolz 11:36am, 10/29/2017

    fun fight!

  6. Bashad Al-Assad 11:18am, 10/29/2017

    Like in the second round after the head butt…..Wilder would have freaked gone into a frenzy and waled the tar out of Takam and that as they say would have been that!

  7. Bashar Al-Assad 09:12am, 10/29/2017

    All the good things that were said about Takam ring true….still….Wilder would have gotten him out of there early….very early!

  8. Old Yank 08:45am, 10/29/2017

    Wilder would drag the Joshua of last night into the deep end and drown him like a bag of unwanted kittens.

  9. Don from Prov 07:31am, 10/29/2017

    “We want Joshua to win. We want him reign forever and ever and be garlanded in ivy and surrounded by virgins bearing gifts. But if he can’t end fights without the help of the referee, there may be something rotten in the state of Denmark.”

    Very good, Mr. Ecksel.  Joshua has twenty fights and won the championship, barely, from a truly aging fighter who had his own issues to begin with.  A little early for the virgins bearing gifts. The kid has question marks for sure.
    But, as you mentioned, the division is not deep. ...

  10. Bashar Al-Assad 07:22pm, 10/28/2017

    Everything Malignaggi said at the end was right….the ref was antsy as fuk to stop it….the longer it went on and the less super duper Joshua looked the antsier he got. Don’t think for a minute he wasn’t aware that Povetkin laid out Takam in the tenth! Wilder is going to KO this guy whether the anglophiles on here like it or not! The first reaction of the boxing nut Brits was to boo the stoppage which tells the tale.

  11. Kid Blast 06:38pm, 10/28/2017

    Povetkin put Takem away and to sleep. Hmm.

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