Anthony Joshua will hope to keep up his perfect record on Saturday night.
Anthony Joshua embarks on the next step of his illustrious career-to-date on Saturday night as he takes on challenger Carlos Takam for the IBF and WBA World Heavyweight titles. He takes the show to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, and in front of a bumper 78,000+ crowd, promises to extend his record to a perfect 20-0.
This is Joshua’s first appearance since that night at Wembley in April where he was victorious in one of the greatest heavyweight bouts of all time against Wladimir Klitschko, in what has since proven to be his final fight. AJ proved many doubters wrong that evening overcoming adversity for the first time in his career, and climbing back up off the canvas, before regaining control of the fight to put Klitschko down several times until the ref jumped in and sent the 90,000 in attendance barmy. He proved to the world that he has enough grit and character to become one of the greatest in the sport, but in doing so, also showed to every other heavyweight out there that he can be hurt and he doesn’t have a granite chin.
Carlos Takam comes into this fight at very short notice with Kubrat Pulev pulling out with a strained pectoral muscle early last week. However, Eddie Hearn had struck a deal with Takam’s team a while ago to be in camp in the unlikely event that something like this happened, meaning that the Frenchman is prepared and will be bringing 100% into the ring. Many saw Joshua easing past Pulev within a few rounds, and this change of opponent hasn’t altered that view. Takam, ranking one place below Pulev in the IBF rankings at #3, hasn’t changed the bookmakers views on the fight with odds still ranging from 1/66 to best price 1/25 at Marathon Bet for AJ to take the win. Takam did take Joseph Parker the distance last year, but previously had been knocked out by a brutal Alexander Povetkin left hook showing he can be put down.
Many thought the pull out was an ideal opportunity for Dillian Whyte to step up and take the rematch that many are craving to see. However by fighting Takam, AJ is fulfilling his IBF mandatory duties and therefore will be free to fight an opponent of his choice early next year. Noise has been made by Joshua’s camp about Takam having a ‘head made of cement’, and predicting the fight going into the later rounds, however this is more than likely just a smokescreen in what looks set to be a one way contest.
There is clearly no value in taking Joshua to win at the prices available so for a more appealing selection, look to the total rounds market. Under 3.5 rounds looks the value to me at 5/4 best price with Betstars. We all know the power that Joshua possesses, and with Takam not facing anything of that ilk before, could easily be rocked early on, resulting in the Cardiff faithful facing an early night.