With the infuriating news for fight fans that Kubrat Pulev has pulled out of the clash with Anthony Joshua in Cardiff on October 28, we take a look at his late replacement Carlos Takam and ask if he can deal any damage to the current IBF, IBO, and WBA champion.
The Cameroonian-French athlete has a fairly impressive resume, with a total of 39 fights accumulated, with only three losses, two of which were to top level opponents in current WBO champion Joseph Parker and another to former world title contender Alexander Povetkin.
Sky Sports' Adam Smith has observed the 36-year-old Takam and what he offers in arguably the biggest encounter of his long career.
"A late change can be difficult for fighters who have worked weeks and weeks with sparring partners who replicate Kubrat. They wouldn’t have worked with someone like Takam," Smith stated.
Smith also believes this late switch of opponents could prove to be very difficult for Joshua on the night even if he doesn't believe it to be, with a reference made to Lennox Lewis' final encounter in the ring which followed a similar pattern.
"It reminds me of when Lennox Lewis was 12 days away from a title defence and his opponent at the time pulled out.
"Vitali [Klitschko] who was on the undercard and he stepped in with 12 day's notice. In Lennox's last fight, he thought he would walk through him and it didn’t happen that way."
However, it is most definitely going to be a mammoth task for Takam, who is more than four inches smaller than Joshua in height, and with no fighting experience on the UK stage, could the bright lights of the Principality Stadium take their toll on the experienced heavyweight.
In terms of technique, Takam in previous bouts has played on the defensive, choosing to stick behind his jab against his mostly taller opponents.
Takam does although have a decent KO rate in his 39 fights, 27 of which ended in him retiring his opponent, and only once has he touched the canvas and not got back up.
In the below video we can see a highlight package of Takam's career.
For Joshua, this is most definitely going to be a task of great difficulty to dispatch an opponent like Takam quickly, however, don't put it past AJ to try and make a statement with his obvious anger towards Pulev pulling out 12 days before the big night driving him to succeed here.
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