As reported on Monday on BoxingScene.com, heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF, IBO, WBA world titles against Carlos Takam after Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev withdrew due to a shoulder injury.
The 28-year-old will take on Frenchman Takam in Cardiff on Oct. 28, in his first bout since defeating Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA, IBO titles in April.
"I received a call from Kalle Sauerland ... to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and maybe ruled out of the fight – this was later confirmed by his doctor," promoter Eddie Hearn said in a statement. "IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line which is Carlos Takam."
Takam is ranked third in the IBF rankings and Hearn believes Joshua will face a tough challenge against the 36-year-old.
Joshua is undefeated in 19 fights since turning professional in 2013 and will face Cuban Luis Ortiz, the mandatory challenger for his WBA title, after the Takam fight.
When Pulev fell out of the fight, Hearn said Joshua was angered by the situation and disappointed.
“He 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,” Hearn told iFL TV. “But he knows Takam, he quite rates him, and knows he’s tough so he knows it’s a real fight.”
Hearn believes that Takam might present a challenge that will last longer for Joshua. He still expects Joshua to win by knockout. Takam was brutally knokced out by Alexander Povetin a few years ago and lost a close decision to current WBO champion Joseph Parker.
“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,” Hearn said.