Meeting The Underdog: Who Is Anthony Joshua’s New Opponent?

Carlos Takam, anyone? Didn’t think so. The Cameroonian-French boxer was somewhat of an unknown entity before it was announced by Eddie Hearn that the 36-year-old will be going toe-to-toe with Anthony Joshua for the IBF and WBA heavyweight world titles.

Following Kubrat Pulev’s injury during a sparring session, back-up fighter Takam has the chance to dethrone Joshua in front of 70,000 at the Principality Stadium on the 28th of October:

“I received a call 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. 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.”

— Eddie Hearn

AJ-Pulev had already been touted as a miss match, but Joshua’s adamance on defending all his belts rather than vacating them means the Briton was always likely to fight ‘lesser’ opponents.

However, Takam could be even ‘lesser’ than an opponent such as Pulev. At just a height of 6ft1′, AJ will tower over the underdog by five inches; Joshua’s reach is also four centimetres greater than Takam’s at 208cm’s.

Despite a decent amount of experience in the ring for Takam, who has a record of 35 wins from 39 fights, the Cameroonian comes to Cardiff as an ageing 36-year-old without any real scalps on his CV.

He fought as recently as June where he knocked out Ivica Bacurin in two rounds. However, although it’s encouraging that Takam should be in good shape and fit enough for the fight with such short notice, the only real notable fight the 36-year-old has had was a UD defeat over Joseph Parker in 2016.

The odds are stacked up against the veteran, and the Cardiff crowd may just look to Dillian Why taking on Robert Helenius on the undercard as a reason not to resell tickets for what is likely to be a very straight forward fight for AJ.

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