By John J. Raspanti
Before 78,000 adoring fans, Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) retained his IBF and WBA heavyweight titles by stopping game Carlos Takam (35-4-1, 27 KOs) in round 10 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales Saturday night. Joshua has now scored 20 consecutive knockout victories.
The time was 1:34 seconds into round 10.
The much taller Joshua came out jabbing in the opening stanza. Takam bounced and kept his distance. He circled while Joshua stalked. Joshua backed Takam up with a right hand and left hook in round two. Takam continued to work his jab.
Takam tried to surprise Joshua with a leaping left hook in round three. Joshua blocked the blow and connected with a sweeping hook. He also landed a short uppercut.
Joshua connected with a combination in round four. The blows caused a cut near Takam’s right eye. The wily Takam landed an overhand right. Joshua wobbled Takam with a long uppercut. A few seconds later a left hook sent Takam to the canvas. The challenger got up quickly and pleaded with the referee.
In round five, Takam, perhaps sensing the cut could stop the fight prematurely, came out winging shots. He pawed at the cut – while Joshua teed off.
Takam, with blood dripping down his check, went to the body in round six. Joshua walloped him with hard hooks to the chin. Takam connected with a hard right in round seven. A few seconds he fired a combination.
Joshua looked surprised, but went back to work. Takam kept shooting his right hand in round eight. Joshua stalked, jabbed, and fired a combination. Joshua’s body work seemed to be bothering Takam.
The ringside doctor examined Takam before round nine commenced. He was dripping blood from both eyes. Joshua waited patiently in the neutral corner until the referee indicated that the fight would continue. Takam wiped the blood from his eyes and soldered on. Joshua appeared to be taking the round off. He bashed Takam up with a left hook at the bell.
In round 10, Takam came out punching. He didn’t connect much, but he made Joshua work. The champion hurt Takam with two right hands. He let fly with more blows until the referee strangely called a halt to the contest.
“Takam, it was a pleasure,” said Joshua. “It was a good fight. I have the utmost respect for Takam for putting on a good show.”
Joshua will likely face undefeated WBC champion Deontay Wilder at some point next year.