Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |



Anthony Joshua to face Carlos Takam after Kubrat Pulev injures shoulder

Photo by Mark Robinson
Fighters Network

Anthony Joshua will face a different challenger on October 28.

The unified heavyweight champion was scheduled to defend his titles against Kubrat Pulev on October 28, but the Bulgarian suffered a shoulder injury and withdrew. French contender Carlos Takam, who was in training already, will now receive his first championship opportunity.

Joshua will also have his mandatory obligation fulfilled. Pulev was the IBF’s No. 1 contender, and Takam was next in line and was installed as the mandatory when Pulev was forced to pass up on the fight.

“When the Pulev fight was announced I made a deal with Takam’s team to begin camp and be on standby for this fight,” promoter Eddie Hearn said. “When I called them this evening they were overjoyed and good to go. It’s a difficult position for AJ having prepared meticulously for the style and height of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam – this hasn’t happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on October 28.”

Joshua (19-0, 19 knockouts) unified titles when he stopped Wladimir Klitschko in an April heavyweight classic. The Brit is now ready for his fifth consecutive fight on U.S. television (Showtime).

Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs) made his HBO debut in 2014 with a draw against Mike Perez, and since, he hasn’t won a notable fight. His two losses came against some of the best in the division: a 10th-round KO to Alexander Povetkin and a decision defeat to Joseph Parker.

Takam will now have an opportunity on short notice to prove he belongs, even if he has little chance to actually win.