Late switch-up no problem for AJ as Frenchman Carlos Takam replaces injured Kubrat Pulev in world title bout
Briton will face number three challenger in his mandatory defence
Frenchman Carlos Takam will fight title-holder Anthony Joshua for the IBF world heavyweight crown on October 28 after the original challenger Kubrat Pulev suffered a shoulder injury, fight promoter Eddie Hearn announced Monday.
Cameroon-born Takam, 36, is ranked third by the governing body and Hearn revealed he had told him to be on standby in case something happened to Pulev.
The 36-year-old Bulgarian – who lost his only world title fight to Wladimir Klitschko inside five rounds in November 2014 – injured his shoulder sparring.
“I received a call from Kalle Sauerland late afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and maybe ruled out of the fight – this was later confirmed by his doctor,” said Hearn in a statement issued on Monday.
“IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line which is Carlos Takam.
“When the Pulev fight was announced I made a deal with Takam’s team to begin camp and be on standby for this fight. When I called them this evening they were overjoyed and good to go.”
Hearn said it would be tough for 27-year-old Joshua to adjust for the bout in Cardiff – his fourth defence of the IBF crown – as Takam is a very different fighter to Pulev.
“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,” said Hearn.
“This hasn’t happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on October 28.”