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Whyte expects Joshua to beat Takam

Anthony Joshua Robert Helenius

By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte (21-1, 16 KOs) sees IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) to get past replacement opponent Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs) in their fight this Saturday night.

Whyte says Takam, 6’1 1/2”, is too short for the 6’5” Joshua, and he thinks he’ll be walking into big shots for the entire fight from the champion. Whyte, 6’3″, isn’t very tall either and his reach is about the same as Takam. Whyte had Joshua badly hurt in the 2nd round of their fight in 2015. Size isn’t a good indicator of how a fighter will do against Joshua. Whyte and Wladimir Klitschko both showed that Joshua is vulnerable when he’s attacked hard, and forced to fight all out for a full 3 minute round. Joshua gasses out when he’s in a dog fight. He needs a slow pace for him to do well.

Takam, 36, only got the fight with Joshua after his previously scheduled opponent Kubrat Pulev suffered a shoulder injury 2 weeks ago. Pulev chose not to fight with the injury, even though he would have made a ton of money by taking the fight. Takam hasn’t done a whole lot to earn the fight with the 27-year-old Joshua.

Takam was beaten by Joseph Parker last year on May 21 in losing a 12 round unanimous decision. It was a close loss, but a defeat none the less. Takam has won his last 2 fights against journeyman level opposition in Ivica Bacurin and Marcin Rekowski. The International Boxing Federation kept Takam ranked high at No.3 with their organization despite the defeat to Parker.

Dillian Whyte, who lasted seven rounds against bitter rival Joshua in December 2015 and will fight on the undercard this weekend, told Sky Sports News: “Takam isn’t strong enough to cause him problems.
“He’s good, but a little too small. He’ll spend his whole night running into uppercuts and right hands,” said Whyte to Sky Sports News about Takam lacking the size to beat Joshua.

Takam is small, but he’s better fighter than everyone that Joshua has fought thus far with the exception of Wladimir Klitschko. Takam has done more in his career than Dillian Whyte, who clearly deserved a loss to Dereck Chisora last December. Takam can fight, and he doesn’t let himself get fat the way that Whyte does.

Whyte needs to worry about his own fight on the undercard against Robert Helenius. Whyte needs to win this fight to keep in the running for a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Joshua. Whyte’s promoter is trying to let the Joshua vs. Whyte fight marinate by having Whyte take on taller fighters to build up the rematch as much as possible. If Whyte gets past Helenius on Saturday in their co-feature bout, Hearn is going to try and put together a fight against Wilder on February 3 at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

“I think it’s an easy fight [for Joshua] because even though Carlos Takam is strong he won’t cause Joshua any problems,” said Whyte.

Whyte and Joshua both have something in common with them fighting opponents that have been picked out on 2 weeks’ notice. Hearn struggled to fight guys that wanted to fight Whyte on the card. Hearn wanted to get Dominic Breazeale to take the fight on short notice, but he chose to take another fight against former Joshua opponent Eric Molina on November 4 on the undercard of the Deontay Wilder vs. Bermane Stiverne card on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Hearn likely would have gotten Breazeale to accept the fight with Whyte if he’d offered him enough money. Giving fighters low ball offers to fight Whyte isn’t going to work for Hearn. He needs to realize that. Every fighter has their asking price, including Deontay Wilder. If Hearn wants the best fighters to face Whyte, he’s going to need to pay them their asking price. These fights can be made, but it’s just going to require that Hearn open up his piggybank to give the guys what they’re asking for to take the Whyte fight.

“My speed will beat his combinations. A good way to beat Carlos is to take his body out, that’s what Alexander Povetkin did to him. I look at each individual fighter, and what their strengths are,” said Joshua to Sky Sports News in breaking down how he plans on beating Takam.

Joshua’s plan on how to beat Takam sounds like a great idea, but he’s going to need to keep his guard up when he throws to the body. Takam will have a chance to land his left hook on Joshua’s unprotected head if he chooses to throw body shots. This isn’t Eric Molina, Charlos Martin or Breazeale that Joshua is fighting on Saturday. Takam isn’t bashful about letting his hands go. If Joshua stays to bum rush Takam like he typically does against his opponents early on, it could be a real disaster for him. Takam has never been overpowered by anyone right off the bat.

Even Povetkin had to take a lot of punishment before he could come on the later rounds to stop Takam. Joshua likes to get it over with as fast as possible in his fights. Joshua tries to KO his opposition right away. Whether that’s because he doesn’t trust his stamina, or he just doesn’t have the patience to box is unclear. What is clear is if Joshua tries to steam straight into Takam on Saturday, he may be sorry for it. Joshua needs to learn some finesse, because he doesn’t have the gas tank to smash everyone he faces, as we saw in his last fight against Wladimir Klitschko.


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