Joshua vs. Takam Preview

By Robert Ecksel on October 28, 2017
Joshua vs. Takam Preview
“Just keep quiet and don’t show any weakness in this game. This is heavyweight boxing.”

“When I heard Pulev pulled out, I was going to do the same thing. I thought that’s what the champions are doing these days…”

On Saturday, October 28, at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, in a fight televised live in the U.S. on Showtime at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT, IBF/WBA/IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs), from Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, will get it on with IBF mandatory Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs), the resilient veteran from Noisy-le-Grand, Seine-Saint-Denis, France, by way of Douala, Cameroon.

Takam is a late replacement for Joshua’s original opponent, Kubrat Pulev, who pulled out due to injury. Pulev would have been a good test for Joshua. He is experienced and rugged, qualities he shares with the man who replaced him.

When asked about Takam on a recent teleconference call, Joshua said, “I could say a million things about Takam because I’m studying him. At the end of the day, there’s two things that I’m focusing on. One is that it’s just like another fight and the second is winning. Then we can all move on to see what 2018 holds. I’m sure that’s going to be a promising year.”

That certainty is something we share. No one expects Takam to defeat Joshua, and apparently no one wanted to talk about Takam, either. With alarming single-mindedness, the only opponent of any interest was WBC champ Deontay Wilder. Joshua was accommodating, but he wasn’t about to ignore his next opponent.

“To have a style like Takam’s, not a lot of people have long careers,” said Joshua. “He just eats up a little bit of ground each round. He could throw a jab, right hand to the head, left hook, right hook and be looking good and, all of a sudden, everything he’s doing wasn’t working because the person you’re fighting is still coming.

“So, I think by round six, seven or eight, he starts applying pressure because he’s got that type of fighter with the ‘I’m going to absorb and measure everything you do’ mindset—which is a dangerous style.

“All in all, what goes down in the history books is whether I win or lose. I’ve just got to do whatever I’ve got to do to get this win. It’s really important for me and the sport of boxing, because it sets up several fights in the future.”

Rooting for Joshua is easy. He is not an egomaniac. He is not a blowhard. And best of all, he can fight. At the other end of the spectrum is Deontay Wilder, whose on the job training has lasted five years, an eternity in boxing terms, and we still don’t know, despite his record, how he would fare against a world-class fighter. If and when he and Joshua unify the titles, we may finally find out.

When asked when he and Wilder might fight, Joshua said, “Any time. I think he’s what the division needs and I think this is what Wilder needs, so we’ll give it to them. I say it’s definitely a potential for 2018. What else am I going to do in 2018 provided that I don’t have any mandatories? I’ll be a free agent. If dealt with right with Eddie Hearn and the U.S., I think it could be built to be something just like the Klitschko fight. It should be better.”

It should be better than the Klitschko fight, but don’t hold your breath. Wilder has some skills. What he lacks is experience fighting credible opposition. But a fight with Wilder, if it gets made, would bring Joshua to the States, a mouthwatering prospect for those of us on this side of the pond.

Joshua was asked about Pulev pulling out of the bout.

“When I heard Pulev pulled out, I was going to do the same thing. I thought that’s what the champions are doing these days. [Luis] Ortiz failed a drug test, so be it, move onto the next one. Ortiz comes off his ban and you box him then. No need to cry about it and say that nobody wants to fight you. Of course we want to fight you, you’re the champion. You’re the hunted. He just needs to start thinking that way and stop feeling sorry for himself. Just keep quiet and don’t show any weakness in this game. This is heavyweight boxing. This ain’t featherweight boxing.”

Wilder talks the talk, but he has only faced soft touches so far.

“I fought Jason Gavern in maybe my 12th fight,” said Joshua. “Deontay Wilder is fighting in his 34th fight, maybe his 35th fight. Where I’m coming from is that in a career, it’s all good going undefeated and looking good. But when it’s all said and done, how are people going to remember you? He hasn’t had any memorable fights. He needs a real remarkable fight to stamp his name in the history books of heavyweight boxing. I need Wilder to have a remarkable fight. I need to be the one that steps up to make this dream a reality.”

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  1. Lucas McCain 04:59pm, 10/28/2017

    Joshua may still be the man among the heavies, but I’d bet Wlad Klitschko was watching tonight, thinking, “Maybe I should have given it one more shot.”

  2. Kid Blast 12:00pm, 10/28/2017

    Your name was Kid Blast

  3. Your Name 07:54am, 10/28/2017

    AJ needs to STFU and just fight. Wilder is not capable of keeping his trap shut.

    Takem will be slaughtered like a Shuka slaughters a chicken.

  4. fan 06:57am, 10/28/2017

    Boxing should have country fight to find out the better boxing country.

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