This weekend the world of boxing comes to Cardiff for Anthony Joshua’s next showdown. What was supposed to be a fight against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev has now become a matchup with unknown Cameroonian fighter Carlos Takam.
Anthony Joshua was ten weeks into his preparation when Pulev was forced to pull out with an injury. He would have been training and studying the Bulgarian so for such a late change it has certainly thrown a spanner in the works. Whether it is enough to completely throw Joshua off is yet to be seen.
Joshua is defending his WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles and has certainly earned them. His last bout against Wladimir Klitschko was arguably the highlight of his career, including the Olympic gold. He dominated for parts and was able to withstand the Ukrainian when he was on the back foot. Joshua was wobbled but it was only his fatigue which prevented him from fully flooring the Ukrainian.
One of the big differences is age, with Takam at the wrong end of 36 and Joshua still spritely at 28. We don’t know what condition the Cameroonian will arrive in but he is always a well-muscled machine.
One thing Joshua’s opponent is known for is his chin and it will take some serious undoing to bring the giant to his knees. Despite his mass, Takam is significantly shorter so Joshua will need to be punching downwards, which is never ideal. He does have a significant reach advantage and keeping at bay with a strong jab could be a clever tactic to use for the Brit.
Joshua was taken to the latter stages of his fight with Klitschko and didn’t always look comfortable. He might have worked on this in training and tried to improve his fitness, but it is likely that Joshua will want to end the fight early.
Takam is also known for his fast starts. It will be an explosive start for sure with plenty of punches thrown. If the two tires early it might become a slow slogging event which has always blighted the heavyweight division. If Joshua wants to put on the show he wants to in front of 72,000 fans then he will have to knock out the Cameroonian early.
Bookmakers have a first-round knockout at 11/2 with Unibet, but I think Takam’s surprise factor and strong chin will take the bout at least into the middle rounds. At 10/1 round six looks a good bet for Joshua to beat off the challenger.
If you are thinking about going against Joshua at 1/66 then you will be disappointed with odds for Takam to win around 12/1 with most bookmakers. Paddy Power is offering the best at the time of writing with 14/1.
This is not the fight that we might have been expecting but the combination of a surprise challenger and Takam’s notorious chin strength could make this fight more intriguing than first thought. If Joshua does bring him down early then it will be another testament to his power and might perhaps have Deontay Wilder thinking twice about his hopes for a fight between the two.
We here at Betting Tip Stars are hoping for an all British affair against Tyson Fury to be next on the cards. Joshua has the potential to wipe out the line of Fury if he humiliates the self-proclaimed Gypsy King.