On October 28th Carlos Takam will step into the ring in Cardiff, Wales to face off against heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (AJ).
It’s likely that the 80,000 ticket holders, along with fight fans watching this bout will be pleasantly surprised.
Takam (35-3-1) is a vetted, experienced warrior rated #19 by Boxrec and number #3 as the IBF contender.
He can drop an opponent with either hand, and his aggressive, offensive style could easily draw Joshua into a gruelling slug fest.
The challenger has never been afraid to mix it up or let his hands go. Sooner or later he’ll go into attack mode, winging devastating bombs at Joshua, and when that happens a war will explode.
This fight won’t be a “pity-pat” affair with Joshua chasing Takam around the ring as he did against Martin:
There will be little room for cute angles or fancy footwork.
Takam knows how to back pedal, but old habits die hard; forward movement is in his DNA. Chances are, Takam will square off directly in front of AJ, and eventually one of these bangers will go down.
Takam likes to plant his feet, while working over an opponent on the inside, gradually draining his opponent’s speed and stamina.
If Takam can sustain his rough house, bull dog style, and each fighter continues to stand and trade, the ensuing brawl could be decided by who has the strongest chin and best conditioning.
Takam’s high work rate and fireplug frame could present serious problems for Joshua.
A hungry contender, Takam has been training for 8-10 weeks to fight Joshua as the IBF stand-by in case of an emergency.
On the other hand, AJ’s camp has been systematically training him to target Pulev, who in physical size and style, is the direct opposite of Takam.
This last-minute change of opponents, due to Pulev’s accident, puts pressure on Joshua.
There’s no question that Takam, with 27 knockouts, presents a dangerous challenge. He also brings a wealth of experience to this fight with a 12-year list of seasoned opponents like Sprott, Botha, Thompson, Povetkin, and Parker.
Yet the odds still favor Joshua. Some predict that AJ, drained by his muscle-bound physique, will tank out in the late rounds.
However, to date, this hasn’t happened. In fact, Joshua exhibited great stamina and determination by getting back up to win after being floored by Klitchko.
Moreover, Takam was KO’d by Povetkin:
The 6’6,” 28-year old champion also has an age and reach advantage over the 36-year old Takam, who is 6’1.5”.
A final argument holds that Joshua has fought only powder puffs and old men, which would be a bit harsh to have this levelled at him mind you.
Yet the fact remains that AJ holds the IBF, IBO and WBA belts with a perfect record of 19-0 (all by KO), while Takam has lost 2 fights over the last 3 years.
Whatever the outcome, this should be a competitive, entertaining contest for as long as it lasts.