Undefeated world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was set to face Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at the end of the month in front of an expected 80,000 spectators at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
However, as preparations got underway, the latter picked up a shoulder injury during a sparring session in Germany, putting the fight in jeopardy.
The injury sustained by Pulev proved to be a costly one as the match was ultimately cancelled.
Fortunately, however, it didn’t take long for a successor to be announced.
In fact, a replacement was confirmed just hours after Pulev pulled out.
It has been confirmed that Joshua will go head-to-head against Frenchman Carlos Takam, who is next in line in the IBF rankings.
Undoubtedly, Takam must be delighted to be called up to face Joshua in front of a bumper crowd.
However, for the WBA and IBF heavyweight champion, a last-minute switch of opponent is definitely an inconvenience and one man who surprisingly sympathises with AJ's situation is WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder.
Wilder, who is unbeaten in his 38 career fights, is expected to fight Joshua at some point next year and has already called out the British heavyweight on numerous occasions over the last few months.
Nevertheless, he can appreciate the frustration of changing opponents and labelled Pulev’s withdrawal as ‘crazy’.
"Yeah it’s crazy man.’ Wilder said in a post-sparring interview with THA Boxing Voice.
“It’s on the 28th too and that’s like almost here.
“That’s a horrible feeling.”
Wilder, whose title fight with Luis Ortiz - scheduled for next month - was also cancelled due to his opponent being forced to withdraw following a failed drugs test and the 31-year-old knows what Joshua is going through:
“I can understand what Joshua is going through a little bit.
“It was almost like my situation and similar in the guy pulling out especially when there’s time you put all that work in.
“People don’t understand that you put so much work in, so much sacrifice, so much wear and tear on your body and all of a sudden you feel like you’ve been training for nothing.”
On the positive side for Joshua, his fight will go ahead as the Brit hopes to maintain his unbeaten record come the end of the month.
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