Joshua To Face New Opponent As Pulev Withdraws With Injury

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Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF and WBA heavyweight world titles against Carlos Takam after Kubrat Pulev withdrew through injury.

The fight is scheduled to take place at the Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on October 28th, with more than 70,000 tickets already sold.

Pulev suffered a shoulder injury in sparring, with 36-year-old Takam the next in line.

It will be Joshua’s first bout since he stopped Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in April, adding the WBA title to the IBF belt he claimed in 2016.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said Cameroonian-French boxer Takam had been on standby for the fight.

“I received a call from [promoter] Kalle Sauerland late afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and may be ruled out of the fight – this was later confirmed by his doctor,” he added.

“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.”

He added that the change of opponent put Joshua in a “difficult position”.

“Having prepared meticulously for the style and height of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam,” Hearn said.

“This hasn’t happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on 28 October.”

In September, Hearn said Joshua’s aim was to face Pulev before facing Cuban Luis Ortiz, the mandatory challenger for his WBA title.

He also stressed that Joshua, who turned 28 on the 15th October, does not want to vacate either of his belts and would rather defend them before hopefully facing WBC title holder Deontay Wilder of the United States in the summer of next year.

The fourth recognised title in the heavyweight division is held by New Zealand’s Joseph Parker, who retained the WBO belt with a points victory over Briton Hughie Fury last month.

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