By Terence Dooley
WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight title holder Anthony Joshua has turned to former opponent Carlos Takam as he fine-tunes his preparation ahead of his March 31 meeting with WBO titlist Joseph Parker, which takes place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Takam has been brought in as a sparring partner by Joshua, who was impressed by the toughness the African showed en route to a 10th round stoppage loss in October that was deemed premature by many in attendance and those watching on TV.
“The reason he [Joshua] wants to bring him [Takam] into camp is because he believes he is a world class fighter,” stated Eddie Hearn when talking to talkSPORT. “And from our point of view, we can do the necessary PR while he's here, because he has to make some noise again, he's gone missing since the fight. AJ doesn't want to spar someone who is not on a world level. He wants someone who is going to be competitive, it's a compliment, not an insult.”
Joshua and Parker will both put their 0s on the line later this month, “AJ” has raced to 20-0 (20) since turning professional in 2013 and Parker moved to 24-0 (18) after successfully defending his title against Hughie Fury at the Manchester Arena in September.
The winner could pursue a fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, who scored a 10th round KO win over fellow undefeated fighter Luis Ortiz at Brooklyn's Barclays Centre on Saturday night despite being hurt in round seven and on the brink of defeat.
In the meantime, and as previously reported, Takam (35-4-1, 27 KOs) is hoping to entice Dereck Chisora into the ring as he bids to get back on track and build on the good will that he accumulated with his gutsy showing against Joshua.
Please send news and views to @Terryboxing.