PHOTO: The Independent
Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has predicted that he will knock out his opponent Carlos Takam in their fight in 8 days from now on October 28 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Joshua says he’ll knockout Takam anywhere from round 10 to 12. Joshua says he might have to target Takam’s body with his shots, as he can take punches to the head really well. Joshua compares Takam’s head to a block of cement with the way he can absorb punches without getting hurt.
Takam was selected by the International Boxing Federation to replace Joshua’s previously scheduled opponent Kubrat Pulev, who suffered a shoulder injury a little over a week ago while training for the Joshua fight on October 28. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had previously set it up with the IBF to have the 36-year-old Takam on standby in case of Pulev suffering an injury.
“People are asking me what round and I say 10-12 because this guy’s head is like a block of cement,” said Joshua to the sun.co.uk in predicting a knockout of Takam. ”He likes to plant his feet and trade. I have had sparring partners coming in to try to knock me out and I have had to hit them with a body shot, so that will help.”
You would think that with Joshua’s last performance against Wladimir Klitschko last April that he would be just concerned with beating Takam anyway possible instead of making a bold knockout prediction. Joshua was on the canvas against the 41-year-old Klitschko in round 6, and he was extremely tired from rounds 6 to 9. Coming off of that performance, Joshua should be a little more reserved and humble about fight predictions for the Takam fight. It’s a risky fight for Joshua for a number of reasons.
Takam has a good engine, and he’s capable of forcing Joshua to fight at a pace that his body building physique can’t withstand. Believe me, if Joshua gasses out against Takam like he did in the Klitschko fight, he won’t see the final bell. Takam hits really hard, and he’s got more than enough power to take Joshua out if he can land his punches. It’s not as if Takam will need to go looking for Joshua, as he’s going to be attacking him from start to finish in that fight
Joshua will need to keep his eye on Takam when he starts targeting his body, because he might get nailed with one of his big punches.
The guys that have given Takam problems in the last 3 years are Alexander Povetkin and Joseph Parker. Povetkin was getting the worst of it when he somehow got a second wind all of a sudden in round 9, and he was able to stop Takam in the 10th. That was several years ago. Who’s to say what would have happened if Povetkin didn’t suddenly get this crazy second wind in round 9 against Takam. The fight was going Takam’s way until Povetkin got the second wind in the 9th. I would favor Takam to beat Povetkin right now if the two of them were to face each other today. Takam has gotten better, while Povetkin has looked less than impressive lately.
There will be 70,000 boxing fans on hand to see Joshua defend his IBF/WBA heavyweight titles against Takam on October 28 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The Joshua vs. Takam fight will be televised on Sky Box Office pay-per-view in the UK, as well on Showtime Championship Boxing in the U.S.
I believe this is the final fight of Joshua’s multi-fight contract with Showtime. Former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer says he thinks that there’s a possibility that Joshua will sign with HBO next, which could create a problem in making a fight between him and Deontay Wilder, who is with Showtime. Unless the two networks are willing to work together to televise Joshua-Wilder on both networks on the same night, it’s going to make it difficult to make that fight happen. But with Joshua now talking about wanting to fight Wilder in 2019 or 2020, it may not matter. If the Joshua vs. Wilder fight isn’t going to happen in 2018 anyway, then it doesn’t matter if AJ signs with HBO.
The boxing public in the UK originally thought Joshua was going to be fighting Pulev on October 28, but his injury to his shoulder has made it impossible for that fight to go ahead. There haven’t been news reports of fans storming the ticket offices to ask for a refund on their tickets. Takam obviously is considered an adequate replacement for Pulev in the minds of fans. Takam doesn’t have the same credentials as Pulev in terms of having fought for a world title and competed in the Olympics, but he’s still very good pro.
“I think he’s durable and he’ll be even more durable because is not favorite and he is in hospitable surroundings,” said Joshua about Takam.
Joshua is way off in explaining why Takam will be fighting tooth and nail to try and defeat him on October 28. Takam won’t be fighting hard just because he’s the underdog and fighting in a hostile environment. Takam will be fighting hard because he wants to defeat Joshua, because he wants to become a world champion. It doesn’t hurt that Takam will become a rich man if he beats Joshua, as he’ll make millions in a rematch with Joshua. That’s icing on the cake. A victory for Takam over Joshua would be a HUGE upset of major proportions. It send shock waves through the boxing world, and cause a lot of fans and experts to re-think their believes about Joshua. Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn would need to step back and come to terms with the reality that Joshua is not going to be able to create a 10-year dynasty with him holding all the titles for a decade. If Joshua gets beaten by Takam, then Hearn would have to see his fighter in a different light. Joshua would still be a good fighter, but he wouldn’t be the guy that Hearn and many other boxing fans thought he was.