After soldering doggedly for nine rounds, French Cameroonian challenger Carlos Takam had to be saved in the 10th round from further unnecessary punishment from Nigerian-British rising heavyweight star, Anthony Joshua.
Joshua had knocked Takam down in the fourth round with a wicked left hook which inflicted a bad cut near his eyes but Takam managed to recover through subsequent rounds with his doctors calling in at intervals to tend the wound.
Against the rules, Takam had tried to destabilize Joshua in the second round with a head butt to his nose which gave him difficulties but Joshua recovered quickly back to business.
At the 10th round, Joshua released punch which seemed to lift Takam off the canvass and referee Phil Edwards had to stop the fight on technical grounds.
The victory takes Joshua to 20 TKOS in his 20 professional fights and retention of the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavy belts.
Takam has however complained that the referee stopped the fight unduly as he was still on his feet.
“I don’t know why the referee stopped the match,” he said. “I respect the champion and the UK fans, they are great fans and I am happy to box here. I don’t why they stopped it,” said, asking for a rematch on the grounds that he had only 12 days notice to prepare to fight Joshua after Cubrat Pulev, the initial opponent had withdrawn on the excuse of shoulder injury.
“I want a rematch, I make my preparations with 12 days to fight Anthony. I want a rematch, I want to box him again, I want him, he is a great champion.”
In reaction, Joshua pointed out that the judgment was left for the referee to make and that he has respects for Takam who did not seem an easy discharge on the night.
“I didn’t have control of it, it was the ref’s decision. Respect to Takam. He was like Evander Holyfield, ducking down, popping up.”
Joshua told the over 80,000 spectators at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales that he will bring and win more top class fights for them.
“What do you want, UK fans? Wembley, Cardiff? Las Vegas? I just want to keep the sport growing,” he said over the microphone, with the entire stadium screaming in ecstasy.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has said the boxer has his eyes upward towards unifying the heavyweight division.
“AJ’s told me he wants the belts. Deontay Wilder against Anthony Joshua has to happen. There’s also a great heavyweight called Tyson Fury. Anthony Joshua will give you the fights you want. Wilder, Fury, Joseph Parker – they’re the 2018 fights. I don’t think we should go abroad. But Anthony Joshua will fight anyone,” Hearn told boxing fans.