Pulev Out Of Joshua Fight To Be Replaced By Takam
Following a failed drug test, one of the two highly touted heavyweight title matches of 2017 was changed as Luis Ortiz would be taken off of his fight with Deontay Wilder. Now Kubrat Pulev is out of his upcoming heavyweight battle with champion, Anthony Joshua.
Carlos Takam has replaced Pulev on short notice and will challenge heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on October 28 in Cardiff, Wales
Pulev is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF title, but following a shoulder injury in training camp, he was pulle on Monday.
Takam, a Cameroon-born boxer based in France, is the IBF’s next leading contender and quickly agreed to fight Joshua on 12 days’ notice. Taking this fight with Takam will satisfy the IBF mandatory defense that is due for Joshua.
The 36-year-old Takam is the IBF’s No. 3-ranked heavyweight contender, one spot below the second-rated Pulev . The top spot in the IBF’s heavyweight rankings remains vacant.
“I received a call from Kalle Sauerland [Pulev’s promoter] late afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and may be ruled out of the fight,” Hearn said in a statement Monday. “This was later confirmed by his doctor. 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. 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. This hasn’t happened in his career before, but he is ready for all comers on October 28.”
The 36-year-old Pulev eventually will get the IBF title shot he is due, as long as the 6-feet-4, 230-pound contender doesn’t lose a bout before securing that opportunity. If Joshua continues to win, however, it could take quite some time to reschedule a Joshua-Pulev bout because Joshua also must make a mandatory defense of the WBA heavyweight title before opposing Pulev.
Takam, meanwhile, will walk into enemy territory a week from Saturday night to battle the United Kingdom’s biggest boxing star in Joshua in front of a capacity crowd of roughly 78,000 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Takam has won his last two fights by way of knockout since his loss by unanimous decision to Joseph Parker in May 2016.