Pulev injured so Joshua fights Takam

LONDON • Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) title against Carlos Takam after Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev withdrew owing to a shoulder injury.

The unbeaten 28-year-old will take on Frenchman Takam in Cardiff's Principality Stadium on Oct 28, in his first bout since defeating Wladimir Klitschko to win the World Boxing Association (WBA) title in April.

"I received a call from Kalle Sauerland to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and maybe ruled out of the fight - this was later confirmed by his doctor," promoter Eddie Hearn said in a statement.

"IBF rules state that the mandatory (challenge) will go to the next fighter in line which is Carlos Takam.

"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."

Cameroon-born Takam is ranked third in the IBF rankings and Hearn believes Joshua will face a tough challenge against the 36-year-old.

"It's a difficult position for AJ having prepared meticulously for the style and height (1.94m) of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam (1.87m) - this hasn't happened in his career before but he is ready," Hearn added.

More than 70,000 tickets have already been sold for Joshua's 20th professional fight.

This means that the bout will break the world indoor record for a fight, which was last set in 1978 when Muhammad Ali fought Leon Spinks in front of 63,315 people at the New Orleans Superdome.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2017, with the headline 'Pulev injured so Joshua fights Takam'. Print Edition | Subscribe