Joshua retains world heavyweight titles
The English boxer retained his International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association world heavyweight titles with a devastating display of his punching power to finish Cameroon’s France-based challenger at the Principality Stadium.
Takam became Joshua’s 20th consecutive knockout victim in a fourth defense of his IBF belt and first of his WBA title, but the challenger stubbornly resisted the champion after being cut by the right eye in the fourth round.
“It was a good fight until the ref stopped it. I have the upmost respect for Takam,” said Joshua, who injured his nose from a headbutt in the second round.
“Imagine if it’s broke and I couldn’t breath and he started catching up in the middle rounds? It would have been a disaster, so I kept my cool. You have to control these situations because, if I showed any signs of weakness, the ref could have jumped in.”
Takam was also given a count in the fourth round before being finished off by a barrage of unanswered punches which prompted the referee Phil Edwards to stop it.
Takam complained it was a premature stoppage, which was jeered by Joshua’s fans, and the challenger was given warm applause afterwards.
“I don’t think they should have stopped it,” said Takam.
“I want the rematch if Anthony gives me it.” Takam, 36, had only accepted his first world title shot at less than two weeks’ notice and fought for most of the fight with a gruesome cut which obscured his vision.
For Takam, it was a fourth career defeat after a points loss to Parker last year and knockout loss to Russia’s Alexander
Povetkin in 2014. Takam, who boxed for Cameroon at the 2004 Olympics before relocating to Paris a year later, was drafted in as a late replacement opponent at 12 days’ notice after Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev injured a shoulder.