It was not as easy for Anthony Joshua as many thought it would be as he disposed of the resilient Carlos Takam in a 10 th round TKO in Cardiff on Saturday night to retain his WBA, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles.
But what Saturday did teach us all is that you can scratch a dogfight off the list of likelihoods to beat Anthony Joshua. The world heavyweight champion’s heart and durability are now beyond question. There are plenty of fighters who dish out punishment, stand tall behind their jab or powerful right lead, but then crumble when adversity quite literally smacks them in the face. In this instance, the relentlessness of the durable Carlos Takam was not enough to deter Anthony Joshua on to a professional victory in front of a record-breaking
crowd at The Principality Stadium.
Joshua’s preparations were disrupted two weeks ago, with Takam replacing the injured Kubrat Pulev, and the France-based Cameroonian displayed his durability as he dragged Anthony Joshua into a long-distance dogfight. Joshua edged menacingly forward from the bell, finding range with a ramrod jab that soon sent Takam back scuttling to the ropes. In the second round Anthony Joshua suffered a broken nose after a nasty head clash. The bump threatened to destabilise Joshua as Takam lunged forward to leave the heavyweight
champion with a badly bloody nose, although it seemed to spur Joshua into action who returned with a fearsome left hook.
The sight of blood seemed to enliven Takam into action, but it was Joshua who would continue to inflict more serious injury in the fourth as a seismic right hook opened up a cut on Takam’s right eye. Joshua worsened the gaping wound with more thudding punches in the fifth, while a jolting uppercut – which is starting to become a signature punch for Anthony – rocked Takam, although he bravely remained on his feet.
Takam’s swollen face saw him blinking through a cloud of blood yet he still managed to stand tall to face up to Joshua’s offence. However, Joshua continued to chop away at Takam’s diminutive and stocky frame with a selection of booming body shots in the eighth. Despite continuing to dab away at the cuts on his brow – and a few disconcerting looks from his corner – Takam continued in defiance and hit back with a few pressing hooks in the
ninth. But Takam’s resilience was finally broken in the 10 th as Joshua jolted him with another uppercut and then a straight right hand prompted the swift intervention of referee Phil Edwards, who waved off the fight with Takam pleading to carry on. Takam had become a static target for Joshua in the onslaught of the 10th round which perhaps proves that referee
Edwards’ decision to halt proceedings was a sensible one.
Those who have watched or researched Carlos Takam before the weekend, will have likely to have predicted his ability to drag the fight into the dying embers. He took WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker the distance last year, and had only been stopped once in 39 previous outings. He was, therefore, never going to be an easy fight for Joshua, especially when AJ was faced with only 12-days preparation time. That said, the fight, and the victory, for Joshua highlights the heavyweight champion’s heart, desire and determination to despatch of a dangerous and unorthodox opponent in a patient and professional manner.
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