Written By Bakari Simpson: Yesterday in Cardiff, Wales Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KO’s) brought to fruition what most predicted. Anthony controlled the action for ten rounds and then was gifted a KO victory. In doing so, Joshua retained his IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight titles, undefeated record and 100 percent KO streak. As good as all that sounds the bout really was a rather lackluster affair. Neither Anthony nor his opponent, Carlos Takam (35-4-1, 27 KO’s), ever pressed the fight past the ‘cruise control’ level. Each were content to take what little was given.
Carlos Takam toiled miserably with AJ’s height and reach. Having located frightfully few solutions Carlos was largely reduced to a mainly defensive fighter. Other than sporadic body shots, inconsistent hooks to the head and a whole mess of shifty, shelled-up defensive maneuvers Carlos Takam didn’t do much offensively. Despite offering relatively little offensive resistance Joshua behaved as if befuddled by Takam. Takam’s herky-jerky movements, particularly the head, gave Anthony serious pause. Instead of his typically powerful, straight jab Joshua came forward behind a limping, pawing and generally substandard jab.
Despite mutually mundane performances both men did display a commendable measure of moxie. Early in the bout Takam put his chin down and rammed his head square into Anthony’s face. AJ’s nose took the brunt of the collision. Pain and anger were immediately plastered all over the champions face and the blood began to flow. It appeared that his nose was broken. AJ would reinforce this belief in the post-fight interview. Seemingly motivated by the pain, and the foul, Anthony actually began fighting better and more aggressively for a moment. All in all, AJ never allowed the injury to hamper his performance.
As for Carlos Takam, he also showed a great measure of fighting spirit. The proud pugilist came to the ring hampered by a gross natural disparity in height and reach. Things became comparably worse when not only one, but both of his eyes suffered nasty cuts. The ever-gushing blood without question bothered Carlos; however, he never backed down or sought a way out. Both men should be applauded for dealing with their war wounds like professionals. Kudos
The largely one-sided affair marred with a terrible stoppage. The mockery of a decision took place in the 10th round. True enough, directly before the bout was halted Carlos did eat several solid head shots. Although, one, they were not very devastating, two, Takam was not dizzy, and three, Carlos was defending himself VERY effectively. Watching the match, it felt as referee Phil Edwards was simply ready to go home.
The unsavory stoppage robbed Carlos Takam of his moral victory of finishing an extremely gutsy fight. Beyond that, the bogus ending artificially kept Joshua’s knockout streak in motion.
The disappointment overlapped into the post-fight interview.
As of late, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua have been very verbally combative with one another in the media. The biggest heavyweight match; many people on both continents want to see the fight. Wilder is ready now. Joshua, well, AJ continues to say a bit of everything, but nothing of substance. Joshua danced around the inquiry when asked who he’d like next in his post-fight interview. When directly questioned about Wilder, Joshua said he wants to fight, but then immediately began talking about mandatories and potential obstacles.
For my money, it does not appear Team Joshua wants anything to do with Deontay Wilder.
I hope I’m wrong, but 2018 is right around the corner. We won’t have to wait long to see who wants to fight like a champ and who just want to sound like one.
Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson