As reported on Monday on BoxingScene.com, Kubrat Pulev has been forced to pull out of his heavyweight title clash with Anthony Joshua due to a shoulder injury and will be replaced by Carlos Takam for the bout.
Unbeaten powerhouse Joshua was due to take on Bulgarian Pulev in his first fight since defending his IBF belt and claiming the WBA and IBO straps by defeating Wladimir Klitschko in an epic encounter at Wembley in April.
However, Pulev - the IBF's mandatory challenger - is not fit to participate in the bout, which was scheduled to take place in Cardiff on October 28, having strained muscles in a sparring session.
Promoters Matchroom confirmed the IBF's third-ranked fighter Takam as replacement for Pulev on Monday.
"IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line which is Carlos Takam," said Matchroom's Eddie Hearn.
Hearn also explained that Takam had been training for the fight in anticipation that Pulev could pull out.
"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."
Joshua says he was not affected much by the change. He is still motivated and hungry win, explaining that his training camp was more centered on sharpening up his skills than preparing for Pulev's particular style.
“What I’ve always noticed with my coach is that he trains me to be the better me, not so much to beat a certain style or a certain opponent," Joshua told Drivetime.
“All it is is that I’ve been watching Pulev for the last 12 weeks/three months, and as soon as the announcement was made instead of typing Pulev into the search engines I was typing in Takam. That’s all that’s changed.
“Inevitably I know he’s tough, but I’ve got to know his strengths and weaknesses. I’ve still got to do the same things as the same job is still at hand – and that is to get the win.”