Written By Bakari Simpson: As the heavyweight division continues to heat up, Anthony Joshua nicknamed “AJ” (19-0, 19 KO’s) finds himself up to bat this Saturday. The WBA super, IBF and IBO world heavyweight champion is slated to defend his belts against the serviceable Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KO’s). The bout will take place in the Principality Stadium, located in Cardiff, Wales UK. American viewers can witness the match live on Showtime.
Although Takam is answering the call to battle, he was not the initial opponent for Joshua. After signing up for the title fight Kubrat Pulev pulled out of the affair. The hard-hitting Bulgarian cited an arm injury as the instigating culprit that spoiled the match. Thankfully, Takam boldly filled the void created by assuming the challengers role. Most in the boxing world believe that Anthony will maintain his undefeated record on Saturday. Few give Carlos a shot at derailing the UK boxing cash cow. For his part, Anthony insists he is taking this bout just as serious as any other.
While it will be fun to see AJ back in the ring, the biggest heavyweight fight that could be made is AJ versus the Bronze Bomber. Team Wilder has given every indication possible they want Anthony next. Team Joshua on the other hand has displayed a great deal of reserve when it comes to Deontay. Both promoter and fighter, Eddie Hearn and Joshua, maintain that defeating Wilder is not a problem. Yet, when the topic of ‘when’ the fight should be made arises, Team Anthony Joshua begins fumbling and stumbling around the conversation. Joshua has even insinuated that the bout might not take place until 2019 2020!
In one breath, Eddie Hearn confidently insists that Anthony Joshua can KO Wilder in the first half of the fight. Yet, in the next breath, Hearn has been advocating that Deontay fight Dillian Whyte. Whyte is another fighter in Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing stable. Obviously, lining a number of bouts up for members of his own boxing troupe makes superb sense to Hearn. Trouble is, Team Wilder is not going for the bait. At least they are not going to on faith alone.
Wilder has publicly made it known that he would happily fight Whyte, and he would fight in the UK. However, that would only transpire if, and only if, Deontay was guaranteed an immediate match with Anthony Joshua upon scoring the victory. Unfortunately, such promises and guarantees have been slow in materialization. Ideally, some kind of common ground can be reached very soon. Wilder vs. Joshua is currently the biggest, most exciting heavyweight fight that can be made.
Let’s hope that all political nonsense and posturing can take a backseat long enough to make this bout a reality. Until then, let’s just wish that Joshua and Takam had a safe and exciting bout tomorrow.
Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson