Joshua overcomes resolute Takam in a bloody fight to retain his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles Boxing | Nigeria sports news, transfers & gossips
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Joshua overcomes resolute Takam in a bloody fight to retain his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles

Anthony Joshua retained his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles despite suffering a suspected broken nose during the early stages of a 10th-round stoppage win over a bloodied Carlos Takam in Cardiff.

Joshua’s flawless professional record now stands at 20 victories and as many knockouts, but this was not a display to stand alongside his statement triumph over the great Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April.

An accidental clash of heads in round two left the 28-year-old Briton mopping blood from his nose and mouth – Joshua claimed the nose was broken in his post-fight interview – and Takam felt his wrath two sessions later when a short left hook dropped him to the canvas.

From that point, the Cameroon-born Frenchman, a late replacement at 12 days’ notice for injured IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, found himself on the receiving end of sustained punishment.

#AndStill pic.twitter.com/BwMTmvl52H

— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 28, 2017
The 36-year-old, whose professional record slips to 35 wins, four defeats and a draw, responded with a display of incredible bravery and appeared to inconvenience Joshua with a pair of overhand rights in round seven.

It was sluggish stuff at times from Joshua after the 2012 Olympic gold medallist tipped the scales at a career-high 18st 2lbs but a barrage of head shots persuaded referee Phil Edwards to spare Takam – prematurely in the view of many in the 75,000 sell-out crowd – after one minute and 34 seconds of the 10th.

Unification fights with respective WBC and WBO champions Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker remain firmly on the horizon, even if the bout did not unfold along the safety first lines such prospects would have ideally dictated.

The short, stocky Takam looked to impose his awkward style early on by burrowing into Joshua’s attacks and smothering his work.

It was an approach that brought heads together in the second, painfully so for the champion, and the ducking challenger leant into Joshua’s honey punch in round four.

The right uppercut that unravelled Klitschko had Takam tottering and a chopping left off the Joshua right put him over before the bell saved him.

Takam’s attack appeared to have dried up entirely at the midway point, absorbing heavy leather now the order of his evening, but he crashed a pair of overhand rights to Joshua’s temple in round seven – the younger man responding by dropping his hands and slugging back shots in return.

The display stirred the crowd but Joshua’s coach Robert McCracken appeared roundly unimpressed, although a flurry to the body crowned with a left hook upstairs from the champion again underlined the thankless nature of Takam’s task in the eighth.

Now cut around both eyes, the challenger drew the attention of the ringside doctor for the second time in the fight before round nine brought more admirable defiance and a chiming left hook to the chin for his troubles.

Parker was taken the distance by Takam, who was furious to be denied hearing the final bell against Joshua. He was still gamely looking to slip away from heavy artillery when the end arrived, Edwards deciding he had seen enough of Joshua’s punishing fists peppering Takam’s crimson-coated features.

On the undercard, Joshua’s old rival Dillian Whyte made his own case for taking on Wilder with a unanimous points win over abject former European champion Robert Helenius to claim the WBC Silver title.

ajike

Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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