Here, we look at five things we learned from their fight.
Joshua is pure box office
Joshua’s popular appeal appears to know no bounds. Thousands of fans – including hundreds of women and children – turned out to see him at his public work-out and weigh-in in Cardiff. Joshua’s engaging personality and smile makes him a hit with all generations and he took time after his media commitments in Cardiff to sign autographs and have photos taken with fans. International TV rights for his fights also underline Joshua’s global appeal and there is no doubt the 28-year-old is well on the way to becoming Britain’s biggest sporting star – if he is not so already.
Far from the finished article
This was Joshua’s 20th professional fight and he came into it with 19 wins inside the distance. Joshua climbed off the canvas to knock out Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round in April but flaws in that barnstormer were again underlined here. Takam had only taken the fight at short notice after Kubrat Pulev withdrew but Joshua found the short and squat Frenchman a stubborn customer. Joshua was troubled by a damaged nose but he had to endure some uncomfortable moments before a big attack in the 10th round ended the contest. It was another good learning fight for the champion.
Joshua had tipped the scales at 18st 2lbs – 4lbs more than any of his previous 19 fights and two stone heavier than when he made his professional debut in October 2013. Joshua had suggested that he was ‘finding his natural weight’ as the years pass, but the key question was whether he would still carry the same hand speed which has set him apart from most heavyweights. He sized up Takam in the early rounds before forcing the Frenchman to take a count at the end of the fourth round. Questions whether the extra weight would affect Joshua’s endurance surfaced in the second half of the fight as he appeared to take a breather. But Joshua got the job done, even if the stoppage seemed premature.
Expects more fights like this
Joshua’s determination to hold onto his IBF and WBA belts means more opponents like Takam can be expected. Holding various world titles and plotting a path in the division is a challenging act with different sanctioning bodies to satisfy. But Joshua has promised to meet all his mandatory challengers and prevent politics from tarnishing his attempt to become the undisputed heavyweight world champion. So for every Klitschko-like super-fight, or a potential showdown with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, there will be those where Joshua will be expected to steamroller lesser opponents.
Cardiff the perfect host
It was almost 10 years to the day that Cardiff’s Principality Stadium had staged its last night of big time boxing when 50,000 saw Welsh hero Joe Calzaghe beat Mikkel Kessler in a super-middleweight unification showdown. But, as promoter Eddie Hearn said before the fight, the 70,000-plus capacity arena is a perfect fit for Joshua fights – particularly in the autumn and winter months when the stadium roof ensures that adverse weather is not a factor. The stadium’s city centre location also ensures that it is a hit for fans keen to sample Cardiff’s bars and restaurants.