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Carlos Takam vs. Joseph Parker less than two weeks away

Joseph ParkerBy Allan Fox: The IBF heavyweight eliminator bout between undefeated #4 IBF Joseph Parker (18-0, 16 KOs) and ##3 IBF Carlos Takam (33-2-1, 25 KOs) is now less than two weeks away for their May 21 eliminator bout at the Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau City, New Zealand.

The winner of the Takam vs. Parker fight will be the new mandatory challenger to IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs), and that fight will guarantee the Takam-Parker winner a tremendous payday.

Even if they lose that match-up, which will likely take place in London, England, they’ll still get very well paid for their efforts.

Joshua, 26, has to defeat challenger Dominic Breazeale next month on June 25 in their fight at the O2 Arena in London, UK. It would be bad for the Parker-Takam winner if Breazeale wins that fight because it wouldn’t be as big a fight if Breazeale wins the IBF title and they have to face him instead of Joshua.

It’s been six months since the 35-year-old Takam last fought in beating 40-year-old journeyman George Arias by an eight round unanimous decision in November of 2015. Takam has won his last three fights since being out-boxed and stopped in the 10th round by Alexander Povetkin in October 2014. That was a winnable fight for Takam if he’d made the right adjustments to the things Povetkin was doing in that fight.

Takam failed to use his size and reach in the right manner for him to get the win. Takam has a controversial 10 round draw against Mike Perez from January 2014 in a fight that Takam arguably won. Perez was the hot fighter at the time. Takam was also beaten by Gregory Tony in 2009 by an eight round decision.

This fight figures to be a very tough one for the 24-year-old Parker simply because it’s such a big step up in class for him. Parker still hasn’t faced a B-level heavyweight before in his four-year pro career. Parker’s management has kept hi fighting lower level C-level fighters instead of moving him up in class, and they’re taking a major risk with him by matching him against an old pro like Takam.

It’s understandable on their part why they would want to let Parker take the fight with Takam now because the money that he’ll get in that fight is going to be considerable. However, it’s still a big risk that will likely result in Parker coming up short or very likely with him getting knocked out.

Parker hasn’t looked that great recently in beating C-level fighter Jason Bergman last January in winning an 8th round knockout. Bergman was able to touch Parker with his shots frequently in that fight, and Parker had to really step on the gas to get the flabby looking Bergman out of there. Before that fight, Parker had a string of quick knockouts against Daniel Martz, Kali Meehan, Bowie Tupou, Yakup Saglam, Jason Pettaway, and Irineu Beato Costa. Those are fighters that are perfect for someone just starting out their careers like Parker, but they’re not good fighters to get someone ready to immediately face Takam. Parker seems to have skipped a level in going from C-level guys straight to an A-level fighter in Takam. It might not be good for Parker.

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