Anthony Joshua, 28, may very well be the best Heavyweight in boxing, and he’s set to make his return to the ring in just a few days to take on Carlos Takam on October 28, 2017 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Although originally scheduled to take on Kubrat Pulev, Joshua will put his IBF, WBA and IBO Heavyweight titles on the line against late replacement Takam after Pulev suffered a shoulder injury that forced him to withdraw from the bout.
A former Olympic gold medalist, Joshua holds an undefeated professional record of 19-0, with all 19 of those victories coming by way of knockout. He’s yet to compete in the United States, and he has been criticized for fighting a lack of legitimate competition in the past, but he silenced those critics with a career-defining knockout victory over the legendary Wladmir Klitschko last April at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Clearly shown by his record, Joshua is an extremely powerful puncher, but he also possesses a strong chin and the ability to recover after enduring big shots, which was seen in his fight with Klitschko. Also, he moves well and has fantastic athleticism.
Like Joshua, Takam is also a former Olympian and despite being a heavy underdog, he is certainly a talented fighter as well. He holds an impressive professional record of 35-3, with 27 of those victories coming by way of knockout, so he too possesses fight-ending power.
In addition to the power possessed in his hands, Takam is aggressive and has quite a durable chin, which was seen when he took on WBO champion Joseph Parker in May 2016.
Takam put on a solid performance, taking Parker’s biggest shots and even outpointing Parker in the middle rounds. Although he ultimately dropped the decision, Takam proved that he was no walkover.
While Joshua will be faced with the task of taking on a late-replacement opponent with a style that differs from that of the opponent he was originally scheduled to take on, I feel as if this is his fight to lose.
Given his power, Takam certainly has a puncher’s chance, but he’s never faced a fighter like Joshua. The Brit is an elite level fighter, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish the fight this weekend.
Header photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing