British professional boxer Anthony Joshua successfully defended his WBA[Super], IBF, and IBO world heavyweight titles against Carlos Takam at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday night.
The fight turned out to be brutal with both boxers going all out to reign supreme, but a controversial 10th round stoppage by the referee Phil Edwards handed Joshua the 20th scalp in his pro career.
The Brit suffered a damaged nose after a heavy head collision in the second round, with many believing the fight would then swing in favour of his challenger, who accepted the fight in under two weeks notice.
However, Joshua managed to battle his way past the pain and the chance finally came two rounds later when a thunderous right hook from him opened a cut over the right eye of Takam.
The Cameroonian-Frenchman was visibly shaken by the move and needed medical attention as he returned to his corner at the end of round four.
Medics further inspected the injury in the fifth and ninth rounds, updating the referee regarding the condition of Takam.
The resilience and patience of Joshua paid off ultimately as he trounced his rival with an uppercut and then a straight right hand, which left the match official with no choice but to intervene and wave off the fight.
The decision received boos and jeers from the 78,000 crowd in the venue, who expected the engaging contest to continue.
Joshua was tested to the limit, but his resilience not only proved his physical abilities, but also exhibited his mental toughness in the tricky encounter.
Former champion Lennox Lewis was impressed by his performance, and took to social media to express his thoughts.
He posted on Twitter: “This was just the type of fight, experience & adversity that @anthonyfjoshua needed. He wasn’t at his best, but sometimes, u won’t always be & it’s those times u hav 2find a way. Some fall apart after broke nose. He remained composed and controlled fight #JoshuaTakam”
Still early in his career, Joshua is on the threshold to continue his domination in the division in the years to come, and his experience of 2017, the fights against Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam, will indeed help him in his progress.
A promising 2018 awaits the 28-year-old, with more enticing bouts against the likes of Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker, or Tyson Fury possibly coming to fruition.