Takam Replaces Pulev for AJ Bout

By Caryn A. Tate on October 18, 2017
Takam Replaces Pulev for AJ Bout
“There are still a few people who doubt me and want me to lose and disrupt our plan.”

“Takam is already as tough as they come. He just keeps on walking forward, and that’s disheartening for a fighter…”

World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) will now be defending his titles against Carlos Takam (35-3, 27 KOs) on Saturday, October 28. Joshua’s original opponent, Kubrat Pulev, suffered an injury in training.

“I received a call from Kalle Sauerland late afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and maybe ruled out of the fight—this was later confirmed by his doctor,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “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. It’s a difficult position for AJ having prepared meticulously for the style and height of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam—this hasn’t happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on October 28.”

The championship bout will take place at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, and will be broadcast live on Showtime beginning at 5pm ET/2pm PT.

The Showtime broadcast team calling the fight from ringside will include host Brian Custer, play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo, expert analysts Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi, and unofficial ringside scorer Steve Farhood.

At Tuesday’s media workout, Joshua spoke to the press about the upcoming bout.

“This is a must-win for myself and for Carlos Takam,” Joshua told Sky Sports, which will present the fight in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports Box Office. “As much as my supporters want to see me win, there are still a few people who doubt me and want me to lose and disrupt our plan. They don’t want to see the cream rise to the top.”

Joshua is not taking Takam lightly and said he feels added pressure taking on a new opponent on short notice.

“Twenty wins, 20 knockouts ain’t bad, but boxing’s unforgiving,” Joshua said. So don’t ask me what you do for your 21st fight. I can’t afford to lose, and I don’t want to lose.

“Boxing is a sport that’s unforgiving in a sense that if Takam beats me, that loss will stay on my record for a lifetime. That will always be my legacy. It will not be, ‘Oh, he was a world champion, and he did well for the sport of boxing.’ No, no, no, no no. It would be, ‘He’s 19-1.’ That’s the new legacy and I just don’t want that blemish on my record right now.

“I’ve known about Carlos Takam for a long time and he’s a very, very well-rounded fighter. He’s been moving his way up the IBF rankings, so I’ve always had my eye on him anyway.

“I think Eddie did a great job to have someone in place in case these mishaps happen. And when I heard the news I was fighting Takam, of all people, he’s a very strong, game fighter. This is his chance to kind of shock the world.

“Takam is already as tough as they come. He’s so tough. He just keeps on walking forward, and that’s disheartening for a fighter.

“When I’m in there with him, it will be interesting to see how game and ready he is, and what fire he is ready to go through.”

Follow Caryn A. Tate on Twitter@carynatate

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  1. Kid Blast 04:40pm, 10/18/2017


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