IBF/WBA Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) retained his crown with the tenth round stoppage of the durable Carlos Takam (35-4-1, 27 KOs) at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Takam came into the bout on two weeks notice following the injury to Kubrat Pulev, earning the respect of the 80,000 spectators in the Welsh capital with a spirited display.
Joshua, in reality, was never in trouble of loosening his grip on the division, controlled the action for the duration of the ten rounds the contest lasted.
A head clash in the second round left Joshua with a broken nose but he remained composed, cutting Takam over the right eye in the fourth before dropping him with a left hook.
Takam did, however, show his steely resolve, working away with hooks which from time to time would keep Joshua alert.
Joshua with over a 19-pound advantage over Takam was landing the harder shots of the two, Takam’s face showing the effects of an engaging war, as he could be seen dabbing his eyes in an effort to wipe away the excess blood, which must have been hindering his vision.
Going into the tenth, Joshua made the breakthrough, landing a succession of shots which broke the resistance of Takam, pushing him back to the ropes, but never looking in serious trouble before quizzically, referee Phil Edwards stepped between them to end proceedings prematurely, much to our surprise.
A chorus of boos rung out in disapproval of the ending. Joshua with a smile at the post fight interview gave his opinion asking the fans if the boos were because they wanted to see Takam stopped on his back instead of on his feet which the fans responded with an arousing reply.
Names of Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker and even Tyson Fury were offered as 2018 opposition from Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn before also stating that Joshua would be staying in the Uk, as the nation continues its grown within the sport.
“Deontay Wilder against Anthony Joshua, it has to happen,” Hearn said. “There’s also a great heavyweight called Tyson Fury. We want to see him come back to the sport. Anthony Joshua wants to be in the real fights. I promised the fans. He will give you the fights that you want. I promise you that. Deontay Wilder, Jospeh Parker, Tyson Fury. There are the 2018 fights.”
Images below Courtesy of Huw Fairclough
Earlier in the night, WBC #3, IBF #6, WBO #6, WBA #8 heavyweight Dillian Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) outpointed IBF #9 Robert Helenius (25-2, 16 KOs) over twelve, sleepy rounds. Helenius did his best work in the second before Whyte took over thereafter, winning on the scorecards via 119-109, 119-109 and 118-111 to claim the WBC silver title.
WBA super flyweight champion Khalid Yafai (23-0, 14 KOs) defended his crown with a decision victory over previously unbeaten Sho Ishida (24-1, 13 KOs). Scores were 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112.
Katie Taylor (7-0, 4 KOs) captured the vacant WBA Female lightweight title with a decision win over Anahi Sanchez (17-3, 9 KOs). Taylor was once more her impressive self as she dropped Sanchez in the second, controlling the action to win widely on the scorecards of 99-90
British light heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni (21-2-1, 15 KOs) outpointed previously unbeaten Craig Richards (10-1, 4 KOs) over twelve rounds by scores of 117-111, 117-111 and 116-113.
Joshua Buatsi went the distance in decisioning Saidou Sall in a light heavyweight encounter
Lawrence Okolie showed his power again in knocking out Adam Williams in the third