Earlier today (Monday, Oct. 16) reports surfaced that Kubrat Pulev had suffered a shoulder injury and would be forced to withdraw from his Oct. 28th fight with Anthony Joshua at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. That report has been confirmed.
Principality Stadium, a domed stadium with a retractable roof, is best known for hosting international rugby matches. It is recognized as the national sports stadium of Wales. For Joshua-Pulev, reportedly 70,000 tickets had already been sold. With so much money in the hopper, promoter Eddie Hearn was desperate to salvage the event. Fortunately for him, Carlos Takam (pictured eating a right hand from Joseph Parker) was available and welcomed the payday.
Born in the West African nation of Cameroon, Takam, who turns 37 in December, made his pro debut in 2005 in his adopted country of France. He carries a 35-3-1 record with 27 KOs. Early in his career he lost to fellow Frenchman Gregory Tony. His other losses were inflicted by Alexander Povetkin (KO 10) and Joseph Parker (UD 12). He had his moments against Parker on Parker’s turf in New Zealand, losing by scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 116-112 in a lackluster fight.
Since that setback in May of last year, Takam has scored two knockouts, most recently a second round stoppage of Croatian journeyman Ivica Bacurin on June 17. Listed at six-foot-one-and-a-half, Takam carried 241 ½ pounds for Bacurin, down from a career high of 257.
Anthony Joshua, generally recognized as the best heavyweight in the world, has won all 19 of his pro fights by knockout. This will be his first start since his mega-fight with Wladimir Klitschko. He holds the IBF world heavyweight title and the WBA “super” world heavyweight title and will be defending both belts. Joshua vs. Takam will air on SKY Box Office in the U.K. and on SHOWTIME in the United States.
There are two interesting bouts on the undercard. Dillian Whyte (21-1) opposes “Nordic Nightmare” Robert Helenius (25-1) in a 12-round heavyweight clash. Reigning WBA world super flyweight champion Kal Yafai (22-0) defends his belt against beanpole Sho Ishida. The invader from Osaka, Japan, who is also unbeaten (24-0), will have a four-inch height advantage.
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