Anthony Joshua beats Carlos Takam to retain heavyweight titles

Anthony Joshua stopped a resilient Carlos Takam in the 10th round to successfully defend his IBF and WBA heavyweight world titles in Cardiff on Saturday. Takam is Joshua’s 20th consecutive knockout victim in a fourth defence of his IBF belt and first of his WBA title.

Joshua, a British-Nigerian, had injured his nose from a headbutt from the Cameroon-born boxer in the second round. Joshua, 28, then cut Takam’s left eye in the fourth, but it took until round 10 for him to stop the 36-year-old challenger.

Joshua has now cemented his status as the best heavyweight boxer on the planet after overpowering a resilient and determined Takam in front of a brimming crowd at the Principality Stadium.

Joshua earned approximately 10 million pounds for his efforts (11.3 million euros) and Takam made 1 million pounds (1.13 million euros) for the loss.

When Referee Phil Edwards took the decision to stop the fight prematurely, it provoked boos from the 78,000 fans that had packed out the arena in the Welsh capital.

Joshua stated: “It was a good fight until the ref stopped it. I have the upmost respect for Taka.” Eager to prove the bookmakers wrong who had stacks the odds so heavily against him, Taka started out determined to make a go of the showdown, digging in early on and catching Joshua with a clash of headbutts.

“Taka, it was a pleasure. I come to fight; I don’t sit on the edge and make decisions. It was a good fight until the ref stopped it, so I have the utmost respect for Taka,” Joshua said after the fight.

“And up until the end, Takam put on a good show. I was boxing him, trying to break him down. Unfortunately, the referee stopped the fight. I think the fans wanted to see Takam lying on the floor. We get the win and now we look forward to 2018.”

Joshua’s gallant challenger, who when asked whether the referee was right to stop the fight, replied: “No, I don’t think so.

“I don’t know why the referee stopped the match. I respect the champion and the UK fans, they are great fans and I am happy to box here. I don’t know why they stopped it.

“I want a rematch; I make my preparations with 12 days to fight Anthony. I want a rematch, I want to box him again, I want him, he is a great champion.”  Takam, who is a French national, got the fight at the last minute, a replacement for the injured mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev, and he made the most of his opportunity.

Meanwhile, before the fight Joshua had told the media:”Before I left I said a little prayer, no matter if the guy is an ant or King Kong, you have to take him seriously and find a way to beat him.”

Austin Ohaegbu

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