By Max Seitelman: Carlos Takam labored to a dull 10 round unanimous decision against Jerry Forrest on Thursday night in heavyweight action on ESPN. The former world title challenger Takam (39-5-1, 28 KOs) was the far busier fighter of the two, and he was able to outwork the 32-year-old Forrest (26-4, 20 KOs) to get the win at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)
The scores were 96-94, 98-92, and 97-93. Boxing News 24 had the 39-year-old Takam winning by a 98-92 score. Although Takam looked exhausted in the second half of the contest, he was still able to outwork Forrest with ragged-looking hooks and overhand rights.
Takam suffered a cut over his right eye early on in the fight and spent the remainder of the contest constantly dabbing at the eye. He wanted to move the blood to clear his vision.
The 245-pound Takam looked a lot bigger and stronger than the 225-lb Forrest. Takam’s superior weight allowed him to hit with more authority and control the rounds based on his power and size advantage.
Takam took advantage of Forrest’s southpaw stance by landing straight right hands to the head all night long. They say the straight right is the best weapon against a southpaw, and that proved to be the case tonight. Forrest had no answer for how to stop Takam’s rights, which were coming one after another.
It wasn’t an impressive win for Takam, as he faded dramatically late in the contest. Also, he took punishment from Forrest in the championship rounds. An excellent top 10 heavyweights likely would have knocked Forrest out, but Takam wasn’t up to the task.
Takam landed a lot of heavy right-hand shots in the first five rounds of the contest. Forrest looked timid and wasn’t letting his hands go nearly enough for him to remain competitive in the fight. He was just taking the shots from Takam and looking to survive.
It was kind of strange to see Takam giving ground to Forrest from rounds three to ten. Normally, Takam is the aggressor in his fights, and he doesn’t let his opponents control the pace. But tonight, Takam was backing away and letting Forrest come forward and pressure him. However, Forrest wasn’t throwing enough shots to take advantage of pressing that he was doing.
He was throwing one punch at a time, looking to KO Takam. Forrest lacked the punching power to hurt Takam. Going into the fight, Forrest boasted about his punching power, which may have been good against lesser opposition, but it wasn’t elite-level power.
You’ve got to give Forrest a lot of credit for having a strong chin to take the solid right-hand punches that Takam was hitting him with. A lot of fighters would have fallen apart had they been hit as frequently as Takam was hitting Forrest early on.
Forrest not busy enough
It wasn’t surprising that Takam was able to throw a lot more shots than Forrest, as he’s always been known for his high volume punching.
It was funny listening to ESPN commentator Tim Bradley saying this about Forrest: “He’s fighting lazy. Throw some punches.” The thing is, the only punches that Forrest was capable of throwing in the fight were weaker shots on the inside.
Forrest was smothering his power by mainly working in close rather than staying on the outside to get leverage on his punches. Perhaps one reason Forrest chose to keep the action on the inside is that Takam was getting the better of him when they were at a distance. Takam’s superior hand speed was a problem that Forrest couldn’t solve.
Also, Takam’s power was better when he was on the outside as opposed to when he was on the inside being pressured by Forrest.
Forrest was initially scheduled to fight Jarrell’ Big Baby’ Miller in his comeback, but he tested positive or a performance-enhancing drug and was pulled from the card.
“We took this fight on short notice, but the opportunity on ESPN was too big to pass up. We knew we could beat him regardless,” said Takam. “I want anyone in the top five, or a title shot if that materializes.”
Takam deserves a hand for stepping in at the last moment to take the fight with Forrest and look decent for someone that hadn’t gone through a training camp.
Forrest landed a lot of left hands to Takam’s cut right eye in round seven, and it appeared that he was intentionally targeting it. When the two were on the inside, Forrest hit Takam with six hard punches to his cut right eye, and that bothered him.
Based on how Forrest fought tonight, he would have had just as many problems against the 300-pound Miller as he did Takam. Forrest doesn’t throw enough punches for him to beat guys like Big Baby and Takam.
With the win over Forrest, the 39-year-old Takam might break the top 15. He lost his top tier ranking after losing consecutive fights to Dereck Chisora and Anthony Joshua. Takam has now won his last four fights since his loss to Chisora, and he’s looking reasonably good.
Carlos Castro defeats Cesar Juarez
Undefeated super bantamweight Carlos Castro (26-0, 11 KOs) beat Cesar “Corazon” Juarez (25-9, 19 KOs) by a fourth-round stoppage. Juarez’s corner pulled the plug on the fight after the fourth round. It was a good win for Castro, who stays unbeaten and moves forward to bigger and better things.
Joshafat Ortiz decisions Joshua Orta
Super featherweight Joshafat Ortiz (8-0, 4 KOs) beat previously unbeaten Joshua Orta (6-1, 2 KOs) by a narrow six-round majority decision. The scores were 58-56, 58-56, and 57-57.
Donte Stubbs beats Fred Wilson Jr.
Middleweight prospect Donte Stubbs (7-1, 2 KOs) beat Fred Wilson Jr (6-1-2, 2 KOs) by a one-sided six-round unanimous decision. The judges had it 58-54, 58-53, 58-53. Wilson was down in round 3 and 5 from big shots from Stubbs. In the fourth, the referee stepped in to dock Wilson Jr a point for excessive clinching.
Corey Champion stops Peter Cortez
Welterweight Corey Champion (2-3, 2 KOs) scored a first-round knockout of Peter Cortez (2-2, 1 KOs) in a scheduled four-round fight. Both guys hit the deck in the round. Ultimately Champion dropped Cortez three times in the round before the bout was stopped. It was a good fight. If only the main event could have been this exciting.