IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is getting prepared for his showdown with IBF mandatory challenger Carlos Takam before a record-breaking audience expected at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, on Saturday where more than 75,000 fans will set boxing’s all-time indoor attendance record at the retractable roof facility.
Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) returns for the first time since unifying the heavyweight division. The undefeated British boxer captured the WBA, IBO world titles to go along with his IBF crown on April 29 in a leading Fight of the Year thriller with Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua was down in the sixth round, survived some more tough moments to rally down the stretch to knock Klitschko out in the eleventh round.
Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs), a 2004 Olympian from Cameroon, came in as a late replacement after Kubrat Pulev was injured during training camp.
“First and foremost, massive credit to Eddie [Hearn] because he’s done amazing work. He was ahead of the game and he’s managed to allow this show to go ahead. Credit to Carlos Takam, a true athlete who stays fit all year round. He’s not someone who just trains for a fight, he seems to keep himself conditioned and that’s what we like. He’s the same as myself. And I think – what would I do? Would I give up the IBF belt? Hell no. I worked too hard for it,” Joshua said.
Two very interested observers who will be watching on, are WBO champion Joseph Parker and WBC champion Deontay Wilder – but neither boxer worries the unified champ. He cautions that any flaws they might be able to pick out on video, will not necessarily help them in the ring.
“[Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder] can watch me a million times but it’s so different when you get in these ropes. When you get in here, you can watch somebody a million times, but it’s a different challenge when you face someone face-to-face,” Joshua said.