So, the world of boxing turns its attention to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, United Kingdom as the world heavyweight champion, Britain’s own Anthony Joshua defends his titles against the Cameroonian-French, Carlos Takam on Saturday night. Takam, 36, is the International Boxing Federation’s number 3 challenger who comes in on 12 days’ notice to take his shot at the world title after Joshua’s intended opponent, the Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev had to pull out due to a shoulder injury.
Anthony Joshua possesses a perfect record so far. The 28-year-old has won all of his 19 fights so far and all of them have been knockouts. This will be Joshua’s 4th defense of his IBF heavyweight title and his 1st defense of World Boxing Association title which he claimed with a technical knockout of Klitschko earlier in April this year. While his opponent, Paris-based Takam has an impressive 35 wins, 3 losses, 1 draw and 27 knockouts. Takam represented Cameroon in the 2004 Olympics before moving to France the following year.
Anthony Joshua is a loved man in Britain because of his down to earth attitude and humbleness. He considers himself a reflection of labor and hard work. “People can relate to boxing because it’s a laborer’s sport. You have to get up early, work hard, work hard when you are tired or sick, and work away from home. That’s why working people support us,” said Joshua. He still likes to go to his amateur club and train with young boxers despite being the heavyweight champion of the world. Imagine how inspirational it is for those young kids seeing a professional champion among them.
Joshua is said to have been preparing for a different kind of fight for Pulev, which would have been a very technical and cagey kind of bout. “I thought I was fighting Pulev – a real amateur-style boxer. I had to stay off the line, jab with him and match his speed. Takam is a different style of fighter, more aggressive, so I might have come in a bit heavier if I’d known,” said Joshua. With Takam, it is going to be different since he is a very different sort of fighter and it is thought to be a much more entertaining fight than Pulev would have been. Critics are heavily favoring Joshua to maintain his unbeaten record with the change of the opponent but some believe that the change has spiced things up a notch.
Takam looked overawed by Joshua at the weigh-in when they went for a stare down but he believes that his experience is his advantage. “My experience will help me win the fight. When we get in the ring it’s just two fighters. Only at the end of the fight will we know who the real world champion is. I saw Joshua go down [against Klitschko in April]. I saw he has a weak point, and we’ve been working on targeting that. I’m going to come forward, fight my fight. It wouldn’t be a shock if I won because of the confidence I have. I know it’s going to be a great fight.”
Takam remains the underdog but he is hoping to emulate the likes of Buster Douglas who destroyed Mike Tyson as an underdog. If Takam pulls this one off, it would shock the world much like Douglas did when he knocked Tyson out.
The bout has sold 75,000 tickets at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. The combined purse of the fight is said to be around £11million where Takam’s purse would be around £750k while Joshua would earn around £10million. Total fight revenues will be bigger than this figure. Money wise, this fight will not be the same as Joshua’s last fight. Both Joshua and Klitschko ended up earning at least £15million each from their epic bout in April.
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