UNDEFEATED and unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua stopped IBF mandatory challenger Carlos Takam in the 10th round on Saturday night at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, where the British sensation improved to 20 wins, all by knockout, and retained both his IBF and WBA world title belts.
Joshua vs. Takam was contested before a record 78,000 fans, the largest ever for an indoor boxing event and was the first of back-to-back heavyweight world title fights airing live on SHOWTIME. Next Saturday, Nov. 4, WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder headlines a three-fight telecast when he faces former world champion Bermane Stiverne at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Creative combinations and some inside fighting rarely seen from the rangy Joshua opened up a cut over Takam’s right eye and floored the challenger in the 4th. Later, Joshua opened another gash over the left eye but a bloody and battered Takam continued to press forward. Takam was able to land some significant punches in the middle rounds but not enough to take Joshua off his game.
In the 10th, after Joshua landed several big punches including a left-right combination that rocked the courageous challenger, referee Phil Edwards stepped in and stopped the fight at 1-34.
“I kept my composure,” said Joshua when asked about a head butt in the second round that may have broken the champion’s nose. “We will get my nose cracked back into place and then we can get back to training.”
When SKY Sports’ ringside reporter Andy Scott asked the beloved champion about a unification bout with fellow undefeated champion Wilder, Joshua said, “It has to happen. It has to happen for sure. When it comes down to it, the IBF, IBO and WBA have mandatory challengers. I can’t just fight any Joe Blow I want. I have to fight the obligations as champion and once I fulfill those, my door is open to fight anyone, be it Wilder or anyone else.
“Everyone saw how hard it took to get the belts,” he continued. “I am not giving them up for anyone.”
When asked about fighting overseas in America or elsewhere, Joshua replied to the delight of the U.K. fans, “As I said, it’s not my decision what happens outside the ring… But look at what boxing is doing. We are getting people coming in from all around the U.K. and from different countries. I think we should keep on boxing right here in the U.K.”