By Allan Fox: Undefeated Joseph Parker (18-0, 16 KOs) will be facing #5 IBF Carlos Takam (33-2-1, 25 KOs) on May 21 in an IBF heavyweight eliminator at the Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau City in Auckland, New Zealand.
This fight will be taking place in the 24-year-old Parker’s hometown, which could help him get past the more experienced and more polished 35-year-old Takam.
The 6’4”, 240lb Parker has good size and punching power going for him. However, he’s been facing nothing but weak opposition since he turned pro in 2012. Parker has looked vulnerable at times on defense against the opponents that have been put in with him. It might be too early for him to be facing a guy with the kind of experience that the 35-year-old Takam has going for him.
Takam doesn’t have a massive amount of experience for someone his age, but he has fought Mike Perez, Tony Thompson and Alexander Povetkin. Takam lost the fight to Povetkin, and was held to a draw against Perez. The experience that Takam received in those fights wasn’t entirely positive. However, he was in there with those guys, and very competitive.
Takam was stopped by Povetkin in the 10th round in their fight in 2014. Takam fought effectively at times, but he wasn’t able to land his shots at the same high clip that he’d done in past fights.
“Parker versus Takam on May 21 will be undoubtedly the most significant boxing event ever staged in New Zealand,” Duco Events promoter Dean Lonergan said via ESPN.com “Over the last seven years, we have staged a number of big boxing events both here and overseas so we have no doubt we can deliver a world-class event, with the eyes of the world watching.”
Takam looked great in his 12 round unanimous decision win over Tony Thompson in 2014. Takam was able to outwork Thompson and punish him over 12 rounds. Takam wasn’t able to take Thompson out, however, but he did dominate him in one of his easier fights. In his fight before that, Takam was arguably robbed in a controversial 10 round draw against Mike Perez in 2014. Many boxing fans that saw that fight felt that Takam did more than enough to deserve the win.
“We have developed excellent systems that have proved to be successful for Joe over the last three years. It’s great we can keep this winning formula in place for the biggest fight of Joseph Parker’s career,” said Kevin Barry, Parker’s trainer to ESPN.com.