By Mark Wyatt
Anthony Joshua defended his IBF and WBA world heavyweight titles last night with a controversial 10th round stop of Carlos Takam.
Referee Phil Edwards called an end to the contest when he judged that Takam could take no more, to the boos of the Cardiff crowd.
The Cameroon-born challenger received ring-side medical attention twice during the bout following an eye-splitting hook from Joshua that floored him in the fourth round.
Although Joshua too received some big shots of his own, during the second round he collided with Takam heavily and damaged his nose causing him to struggle for breath before his corner could fix the problem.
“I think people wanted to see Takam unconscious on the floor” – Anthony Joshua
It ensured Joshua a 20th straight stoppage victory but the world-record size crowd inside the Principality wanted more and Joshua addressed the issue in his post-fight interview:
“As you can see it was a good fight up until the referee stopped it, up until then I have the utmost respect of Takam for putting on a good show”
“I was watching him, I was trying to break him down round by round and unfortunately the referee stopped it. I think people wanted to see Takam unconscious on the floor.”
Immense credit must go to the challenger Takam, the shorter and lighter man adopted his usual style well to adapt to Joshua and he had the champion stumbling in the seventh round as the crowd held their breath.
With this bout ending in the 10th round and his 11th round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko in April it seems that Joshua is treading on new territory in the ‘championship rounds’ of boxing,
It points to his determination and raw attitude that the Brit has come through these tests despite having only 20 fights under his belt (or belts, rather).
Looking to 2018 Joshua will now surely look to take hold of either the WBC or WBO belts that are currently held by American Deontay Wilder and New Zealander Joseph Parker respectively.
His momentum should serve him well as he hopes to make history by holding all four heavyweight belts at once and unifying the division for the very first time.