Joshua worried about losing to Takam
By Scott Gilfoid: Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) is very concerned about getting beaten by replacement opponent Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs) in their fight in less than 2 weeks from now on October 28 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Joshua likes having a perfect 19-0 record, and he feels that a defeat will tarnish his record and hurt his legacy. It’s kind of odd that the 6’5” Joshua is already thinking of his legacy at this early point in his career, but it shows you were his mind is at. Instead of Joshua thinking of being the best fighter he can be, he’s worrying about his legacy. Of course, if Joshua is really concerned with his legacy he should be pushing his promoter Eddie Hearn to make the unification fight against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in his next fight after his October 28th fight against Takam, if he gets past him. Hearn is interested in matching Dillian Whyte against Wilder in the early part of next year, a move in which appears to be an effort stave off a threat to Joshua.
“In boxing, I think it’s a sport that’s unforgiving in the sense that, if Takam beat me that loss will stay on my record for a lifetime, that will always be in my legacy,” said Joshua to Sky Sports News. “It’s not ‘oh, he was a world champion and he done well for the sport of boxing. No, no, no he was 19-1 – that’s Anthony’s legacy and I just don’t want that blemish on my record right now.”
This could be a tough fight for Joshua in taking on Takam in short notice, but welcome to boxing. It’s not as if Joshua didn’t have warning that he could wind up facing Takam. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had to have told him the potential of his previously scheduled opponent Kubrat Pulev suffering an injury and him needing to be replaced by Takam.
Hearn revealed the news on Monday that Takam had been on standby all this time with the International Boxing Federation as a replacement for Pulev in the event of an injury. With Joshua having been warned ahead of time that he potentially be required to face the 6’2” Takam instead of the 6’4 ½” Pulev, he should have been preparing for him as well. Takam is more of a puncher than Pulev. That’s the one major difference between the two of them. Pulev is a boxer, who likes to stay on the outside and jab. When Pulev does throw a power shot, he swings wildly without much power.
Takam is a different story. He’s got power in both hands, and he likes to throw a lot of shots. This should make Joshua happy instead of worried. He likes to slug it out. Takam is a guy that will stand and trade with Josua for as long as the fight lasts. Of course, if Joshua’s conditioning is as poor as it was against Klitschko, then he could have problems against Takam.
I would hope for Joshua’s sake that he lost some of the useless body building muscles that he had for his fight with Klitschko. Joshua came into that fight weighing 250. That’s about 20 lbs. more than he should be. Joshua would be better off if he weighed 230, considering it would give him more energy, speed and it would help him sustain a fast pace for a longer period of time. Joshua looked like he was ready to compete in a body building competition in the Klitschko fight instead of a boxing match.
It’s sad that Joshua is preoccupied with his pristine, unblemished pro record instead of him putting more emphasis on fighting the best. If this were academics, Joshua would be looking at taking the superficial courses like basket weaving instead of the tough ones that will get him somewhere like calculus and physics.
Joshua has fought too many fluff opponents as it is during his 4-year pro career. He shouldn’t be worried his record. Joshua should be seeing the big picture of wanting to fight the best there is in boxing. He should be more like the late great Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. Those guys didn’t duck the best. They would have never gone for the idea of their promoter running interference for them by sticking Dillian Whyte in between them and Deontay Wilder, hoping that somehow that “The Bronze Bomber” would get beaten so they wouldn’t have to face him. Those guys would have already fought Wilder by now, as well as Luis “King Kong” Ortiz and David Haye. Those are all fights that Hearn hasn’t made for Joshua, and you have to ask the question why.
Here we have Joshua worried about his record without him having faced anyone other than 41-year-old ring rusty Wladimir Klitschko, who hadn’t fought 1 ½ years at the time that he fought Joshua last April. Joshua has not fought the best, and here is he worried about his record already. To me, I think Joshua’s head is in the wrong place. He should look at his resume as being basically empty aside from the fight against Wladimir, which wasn’t an impressive performance from Joshua. It was a mixed bag from Joshua in that fight. Joshua did some good things and some bad things. I give Joshua a C minus grade in the Klitschko fight. Joshua passed, but just barely and only because Wladimir beat himself by not going for the Coup de Grace after he had Joshua out on his feet. Joshua can call that a loss on his boxing record, as far I’m concerned. If I won a fight like that, I would consider that I lost the fight. If this had been a prime Wladimir with his late trainer Emanuel Steward still in his corner, Joshua wouldn’t have made it out of round 6. Steward would have been barking orders to Wladimir, and it would have encouraged him to finish off the tired and badly hurt Joshua.
Takam is in a good position to beat Joshua on October 28 at the Principality Stadiuim in Cardiff, Wales. Takam has a good blueprint to study from Joshua’s fight against Klitschko, and he’s got the punching power to win. Yeah, Takam has lost twice in the last 3 years to Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin, but he could have just as easily won both of those fights. Parker jabbed and ran from Takam all night long. That was a fight that you can’t really say Takam deserved a defeat. He was the one trying to make the fight, whereas Parker was spoiling for 12 rounds. The fight took place in Parker’s home country of New Zealand, so it was always going to be hard for Takam to get a decision win.
Parker’s boxing fans were screaming each time he even looked at Takam wrong, and it was not a good setup for the visiting fighter. In Takam’s loss to Povetkin in 2014, it was a very weird fight. Takam was getting the better of Povetkin, when all of a sudden the Russian fighter got this crazy second wind and in the 9th round and looked like another fighter entirely. Povetkin looked stronger in the 9th round than he had in any of the previous rounds. It was like another person in ring. In the first 8 rounds, Povetkin was just plodding and looking like an old fighter, but he transformed into superman in the 9th and knocked Takam down and then stopped him in the 10th. If Takam has started boxing Povetkin when he got his second wind, he might have been able to win a decision. The fight was in Moscow, Russia, and it might have been tough for Takam to get a decision.
If Joshua gasses out against Takam like he did against Klitschko, then we could be talking about a new IBF/WBA heavyweight champion on October 28. The good news is the two fighters could face each other in a rematch and Joshua would have a chance to avenge the loss.