Despite a slightly concerning performance for fans, in Cardiff Anthony Joshua retained his heavyweight title belts following his win against Cameroonian- French boxer Carlos Takam and remains undefeated.
The referee made the controversial decision to stop the fight after ten rounds. Takam, who was only brought in to replace the injured Kulbrat Pulev two weeks ago before, appeared to be struggling after sustaining an eye injury earlier in the fight.
After the match, Joshua told reporters “it’s not my decision what happens outside of the ring, I didn’t have control over it… but what everyone wanted was to see Takam unconscious”.
Given that Joshua was under evens from the bookies to finish within the first six rounds, Takam performed far better than expected. He appeared visibly frustrated at the Referee’s decision to stop the fight and has since spoken of his hopes that a rematch with Joshua will be organised sometime in the future.
Throughout the fight, Takam found ways to negate Joshua’s power by slipping punches and forcing his way inside Joshua’s guard for the clinch, often leaving Joshua with no room to deploy his trademark right cross and heavy inside uppercut. Despite Takam’s impressive performance, Joshua remains undefeated, setting a new record of 20 fights and 20 stoppages.
Weighing in at 18st 2lbs, Joshua was 2.24lbs heavier than he was for his fight against Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017, and appeared to lack the agility that has come to characterise his style of boxing. Joshua’s slightly disappointing performance can also perhaps be partially attributed to a broken nose, which he sustained during the second round of the fight following an accidental head-butt by Takam. Despite Joshua’s victory, one spectator commented that “this fight has shown that Joshua is a lot more vulnerable than we originally believed”.
Organiser Eddie Hearn’s remarks after the fight were met by jeers from the crowd, and Joshua, who light heartedly booed along with them. Hearn responded to speculations by fans that Joshua’s next fight may take place in the US, stating he would like to see Joshua continue to fight in the UK.
Earlier in the night, Irish boxer Katie Taylor walked away with the female world champion title following her defeat of Anahai Sanchez on a hotly anticipated undercard, only eleven months after becoming professional. Walking out to “It’s a Man’s World”, Taylor enjoyed enormous support from the crowd.
The fight went to points, with Taylor winning all ten rounds. This was her seventh professional boxing match.
It was a good night for British fighters, with heavyweight boxer Dylan Whyte beating Swedish- Finnish Robert ‘the Nordic Nightmare’ Helenius on points. Though Whyte received huge support from the crowds, the fight went off to a slow start, with neither fighter appearing to perform to the best of their ability.
Light heavyweight British boxer Joshua Buatsi also beat his opponent Saidu Sall earlier in the night, with Sall spitting out his gumshield after a knockdown in the final round to give Buatsi the TKO.