Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Takam’

Joshua_Takam

CARDIFF, WALES — Last-minute substitution Carlos Takam proved no match for unified WBA/IBF champion Anthony Joshua, who used his massive size to dominate the inside fighting and score a 10th round stoppage at the Principality Arena.

Takam had a sound strategy of working off the backfoot and seeking to take the fight into the late rounds. Early on, Joshua struggled with cutting off the ring and allowed Takam to wing overhand right counters. Takam also made the champion uncomfortable in the second by leading head first and breaking Joshua’s nose with an unintentional butt.

But at 6’6 and 254 pounds, Joshua’s size began to take its toll. The challenger was lacerated above his right eye by a short left hook. Getting inside was supposed to be Takam’s best chance, but it became a no man’s land where Joshua got off first with right uppercuts and hooks that sent the challenger reeling backwards. Takam went down off such a barrage in the fourth and was later cut above his left eye.

The Frenchman remained competitive and started having limited success as Joshua sought to pace himself. Takam arguably won the seventh and ninth rounds on activity as his overhand right counters forced Joshua to briefly give ground and hold.

In the tenth, Joshua went on the offensive with a right uppercut. A stunned Takam retreated to the ropes while taking several unanswered punches, prompting the referee to quickly jump in amid protests from the challenger.

The win improves Joshua’s record to 20-0 (20 KOs). According to promoter Eddie Hearn, the three targeted bouts for 2018 are WBC titlist Deontay Wilder, WBO title-holder Joseph Parker, and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

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Considering Takam was a last-minute replacement on less than two weeks notice, I won’t be too critical of Joshua’s performance from a technical standpoint. However, his weight and stamina are a growing concern. 254 pounds is a career-high for him and it showed which his decreased punch output over the second half of the fight. The fight was even being fought at a torrid pace. I don’t even expect Joshua to be a high-volume guy due to his muscle mass, but getting in the 245 range would do wonders for his fluidity and deter some of the arm-weariness we see at times.

As for the future, the post-fight presser showed that Wilder likely isn’t next on the cards. Between Hearn and trainer Rob McCracken, there doesn’t seem to be a rush to make the fight, and high importance is placed on keeping all the belts and fulfilling mandatories. Also, it isn’t like Wilder has any leverage — the American slugger won’t even sell-out his November 4 fight in Brooklyn against Bermane Stiverne, while Joshua-Takam just set an closed arena attendance record with 78,000. Joshua has zero reason to travel and can pretty much put Wilder on ice much like Canelo did GGG for a full year.

Expect Parker and Fury (should he return) to get looked at first before Wilder.

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Watch the live stream for the final press conference for Anthony Joshua’s fourth title defense against challenger Carlos Takam.  The bout takes place on Showtime on Saturday October 28 at 5 p.m. ET.

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ANDREW CORNAGA / WWW.PHOTOSPORT

MANUKAU CITY — Joseph Parker received his first taste of adversity in a unanimous decision (116-112 twice, 115-113) win over Carlos Takam this afternoon at the Vodafone Events Centre.

Parker controlled the first three rounds by keeping Takam tentative with his hard punching and high activity. Starting in the fourth, Takam turned the tide by coming forward and taking advantage of Parker’s infighting deficiencies. Parker, who was visibly fatigued, went into full retreat in the fifth and allowed Takam to carry most of the middle rounds.

In the championship rounds, the tide changed again with Parker digging deep to outpunch the more economical Takam.

The bout was an IBF eliminator, meaning Parker could conceivably face title-holder Anthony Joshua very soon. But from this performance, it’s obvious Parker needs much more seasoning before taking on that challenge.

Watch the full fight below.

 

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Alexander Povetkin got his second consecutive knockout win last night with a tenth round KO of Carlos Takam.

Povetkin was too strong and sharp for the Cameroon fighter, who often got the worst of inside exchanges. Takam found minor success utilizing a shoulder roll and increasing his counter-punching. But Povetkin’s bullish power continued to offset this and leave Takam constantly back-pedaling, usually after an assortment of hooks.

The first knockdown came at the end of the ninth off a double left hook followed by a right cross. Takam went crashing into the ropes but beat the count. He was on fumes for the tenth, and Povetkin clipped him with another short left hook to put Takam down for good.

The win ends a solid 2014 run for Takam, which saw him fight to a disputed draw with Mike Perez in January, and score a unanimous decision win over Tony Thompson in June. Povetkin stopped Manuel Charr in seven rounds this past May.

The win keeps Povetkin ranked #3 by the WBC, behind Americans Bryant Jennings (#2), Deontay Wilder (#1) and Bermane Stiverne (champion).

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FULL FIGHT

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MONTREAL — Despite a dramatic 12-round that featured Jean Pascal flirting with a stoppage defeat, the former light-heavyweight champion dominated a tentative and overmatched Lucian Bute to a unanimous decision (118-110, 117-111 and 116-112) before a sold-out, hot crowd at the Bell Centre. Bute was the overwhelming crowd favorite, but the repeated “Bute!” chants couldn’t overcome Pascal, who although utilizing his fighting in explosive spurts pattern, also displayed skillful countering ability that kept Bute confused and domesticated.

 

PASCAL’S THREE KEYS: The initial four rounds were a chess match with Bute scoring well with his jab and Pascal doing solid work with hard right hands to the body. However, Pascal completely walked away with the fight starting in the fifth behind these three factors:

1. THE WEIGHT: The main reason I picked Pascal by decision is I felt he’d have hard time adjusting to the natural strength and durability of a career light-heavyweight. That proved to be the case as even the Pascal haymakers that didn’t land clean had Bute stumbling backwards and reluctant to counter. In addition, when Pascal did land clean, Bute froze and was driven to the ropes where Pascal would work him over with 7-10 punch combinations.

2. FOUR-ROUND FIGHTER NO MORE: I interviewed Pascal for Knockout Nation earlier this week, and he was emphatic in stating that his tactic of exploding in spurts was not due to bad stamina, but a strategy to demoralize and dominate his opponents. I admit, I kind of snickered at that, but it’s hard to deny it isn’t intentional and more importantly, not effective. Pascal would take Bute’s best shots and played possum long enough each time that Bute, and many times the crowd, would think he was actually hurt. Then in the span of a few seconds, it was Bute frantically stumbling back on his heels after eating left hooks and overhand rights, or covering up on the ropes after being spun around by Pascal.

3. JEAN JONES MAYWEATHER JR.: Roy Jones worked with Jean Pascal and was in his training camp for this fight. The results were evident in Pascal’s sharp lead right hand that many times stopped Bute’s offense cold. Pascal varied the punch as a counter shot too, fighting out of a shell and popping Bute right down the middle ala Mayweather whenever Bute got bold enough to lead (Note: Pascal also worked with the Mayweathers for this fight). To make it more embarrassing for Bute, in the latter rounds Pascal literally looked in the other direction while waiting for Bute to get in range before popping off a quick right hand.

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UNNECESSARY DANGER: Pascal flirted with disaster the last two rounds by taking his possum strategy to the extreme. While it  seemed like he just took the 11th off, Pascal started the 12th by letting Bute wail away on him in a corner for over a minute. The ref was out of sight of the camera, but you could hear him state several times for Pascal to “show him something,” indicating he was close to stopping the fight. Pascal never seemed alarmed by this and would simply lift his head up and nod to the ref that he was ok.

Considering the dubious calls we’ve seen in situations like this, it’s incredible, and downright foolish, to see Pascal taking a risk like that in a fight he was dominating. Nonetheless, Bute had been conditioned enough by this point to expect a strong Pascal flurry, so he was hesitant to really go all out. Pascal did indeed manage a big flurry at the round’s midway point, but it was Bute who closed the round in stlye with a few counter right hands to manage a moral victory of sorts for his fans.

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PASCAL VS. STEVENSON: This is the next logical big Montreal fight, but Pascal didn’t seem enthusiastic to call out Adonis Stevenson, preferring to praise their comradery based on ethnic ties. It also important to note Stevenson is allegedly in talks to face Andrzej Fonfara next, which means Pascal might have to wait until the summer or possibly take Sergey Kovalev.

BUTE’S NEXT MOVE: If I’m Andre Ward, I’m kicking myself for not taking that Bute fight years ago. Many will say Bute is completely washed up, but that crowd reaction says fans north of the border are still willing to pay good money to see him. If I’m HBO, I put on a triple-header for my next Montreal card with Stevenson and Kovalev in separate bouts, and Bute getting one last chance to salvage his career against another former champion in dire need of a win, Chad Dawson.

 

MIKE PEREZ STUMBLES: On the undercard, Mike Perez was extremely lucky to walk away with a draw against Carlos Takam, who quite simply bullied and worked him over inside for the second half of their ten-round fight. Early on, Perez was the aggressor in feet only, coming forward but not being able to land many clean shots on Takam, who elected to fight off the backfoot with a low punch output. An accidental butt produced a bad cut on Perez’s left eyebrow in the third, and Takam slowly started to get confidence.

Takam upped his punch output and found massive dividends when he took the fight inside. As the much bigger fighter, Takam was able to muscle Perez to the ropes and sapped his energy with clubbing shots to the body. The judges had it 96-94 Takam and 95-95 twice for the draw. My score was a clear Takam win, 97-93.

Perez dedicated the fight to Magomed Abdusalamov, who Perez beat badly in November and put into a life-threatening coma. Although Abdusalamov is slowly going through the recovery process, it’s not a far-fetched theory to think Perez wasn’t in the best mental state headed into this fight. In addition, Abdusalamov was a massive heavyweight and landed his own heavy leather in that November fight. Considering that it’s barely been three months, the turnaround might have been too quick for Perez.

However you look at it, the one clear thing from this fight is HBO’s eagerness to paint Perez as a threat to Wladimir Klitschko was a complete “prisoner of the moment” stance.