Boxing: I want rematch , said Takam after controversial lost to Anthony Joshua

Enough: Carlos Takam is stopped CREDIT: GETTY
 
Anthony Joshua retained his two heavyweight title belts here last night but this was a far from convincing performance, with many in the Principality Stadium feeling referee Phil Edwards had acted prematurely in stopping obdurate opponent Carlos Takam in the tenth round. 
Joshua had thrown everything at the super-sub with the tank-like physique and granite chin, but he was beginning to tire when Edwards stepped in to bring the fight to a close, much to Takam’s fury. 
At the end of it all the young man who is fast becoming a superstar now has a record which reads: 20 fights, 20 stoppages.
Yet this was far from perfect, and the 28 year old took great risks at times, exposing himself to counter punches which could cost the Briton in fights against the likes of WBC champion Deontay Wilder. He will know he has much to work on. 
There were mitigating circumstances as Joshua had his nose broken in the second round by Takam’s forehead, although he had recovered sufficiently by the fourth to ensure his French-Cameroonian opponent had to take a standing count after being knocked down by a left hook. 
The punch opened a nasty cut above Takam’s right eye, and he was twice inspected by the ringside physician before it was all over. 
When it was finished, Joshua addressed the 80,000 crowd, looking forward while paying due respect to his opponent.
“What do you want, UK fans ? Wembley, Cardiff ? Las Vegas ? I just want to keep the sport growing,” he said over the microphone, the entire stadium roaring to his every word.
Belted: Anthony Joshua celebrates victory over Carlos Takam CREDIT: PA
“I didn’t have control of it, it was the ref’s decision [to stop the fight]. Respect to Takam. He was like Evander Holyfield, ducking down, popping up.” 
Holyfield was not a bad comparison, and Joshua certainly learnt again from this performance. His ears may still be ringing from the screams of trainer Rob McCracken, who consistently urged his charge to box and not go for the knockout punch.
Takam, his face bloody and cut, was a warrior to the last and he was deeply vexed by the stoppage. 
“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. 
AJ uses his reach: Anthony Joshua v Carlos TakamCREDIT: GETTY
“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.
Takam’s stock has undoubtedly risen, coming in as he did with just 12 days notice after Cubrat Pulev withdrew after suffering a shoulder injury. 
He could well be a re-match opponent, but that will be down the line. The sights of Joshua and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, are already fixed on unifying the heavyweight division. 
“AJ’s told me he wants the belts. Deontay Wilder against Anthony Joshua has to happen,” said Hearn after the bout. “There’s also a great heavyweight called Tyson Fury. 
Battle CREDIT: GETTY
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.”
He had to fight for far longer than he expected to here. When the two fighters emerged it was into an electric atmosphere, particularly as local Welsh hero Joe Cordina had shone on the undercard.
But Takam proved a tough man to put down, with Joshua only able to put him away in the 10th when Edwards felt Takam had taken enough punishment after a right nearly knocked him off his feet. It seemed premature but Joshua’s bandwagon goes marching on.

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