Recent news that IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev will pull out of an upcoming fight with Anthony Joshua has angered the world heavyweight champion, says Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
Hearn announced the news Monday afternoon via tweet, along with naming Pulev’s replacement, IBF number three Carlos Takam.
The news disappointed fans, with some of them tweeting at Hearn requesting refund for PPV fees.
Fans weren’t the only ones left displeased by the news, Joshua also expressed his disappointment.
Speaking to IFL TV Hearn said: “He [Joshua] had the disappointment of the Wladimir Klitschko rematch [that did not happen], then Pulev falling through… he was a bit p***ed off to be honest with you.
“But he knows Takam, he quite rates him, and knows he’s tough so he knows it’s a real fight.”
IBF rules make it clear that Joshua must fight the next in line, French heavyweight Carlos Takam, or be stripped of his belt.
The news means Joshua will have to alter his preparations just 12 days ahead of the fight. He had, after all, been training with Pulev in mind.
Hearn said the change will mean fans can expect a different, but still exciting fight.
“I think you get more rounds out of Takam. It’s a different fight to Pulev. Pulev is taller, more awkward. And Takam is shorter, comes forward, swings them in, with a great chin, and is very durable. I’m pleased to get it done.”
According to Hearn, Takam won’t be unprepared for the fight.
Though it will take place just 12 days from the news, at the Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, Hearn says Takam has been preparing since the original fight with Pulev was announced, all the way back in early September.
“When the Pulev fight was announced I made a deal with Takam’s team to begin camp and be on standby for this fight.
“When I called them this evening they were overjoyed and good to go. It’s a difficult position for AJ having prepared meticulously for the style and height of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam – this hasn’t happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on October 28.”
Make of that what you will.
How disciplined Takam took his training since September is questionable, given he had no indication Pulev would pull out.
It’s easy to see why Hearn would push this narrative: Takam’s shots at fighters of any pedigree – Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin – resulted in two out of his three career losses. Given the glaring mismatch in skill and short preparation time, Takam looks comparatively hopeless.