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For Anthony Joshua, the true privilege of being world heavyweight champion is not performing in front of 80,000 crowds in a monumental stadium. At the last media conference before defending his titles in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, Joshua said: ‘The honour for me is like going back to my local club last week and training with the kids. ‘British boxing is about the grassroots.

This is my chance to let young boxers see what can be achieved.’ Joshua is also conscious of pleasing all those fans. Of himself and challenger Takam, he says: ‘We both go for it. A lot of working people pay to watch us and we must give them the fight to enjoy. ‘Let’s rock and roll.’ He also wants to start moving on from his epic win over Wladimir Klitschko.

Anthony Joshua In tune with the mutually respectful mood, Joshua said: ‘Boxing is unforgiving. Carlos will be a different fight. Best of luck to both men. And may the best man win. ‘ The 28-year-old said the combination of his and Takam’s style will ensure fans in Cardiff get their money’s worth ahead of the much-anticipated heavyweight clash. Joshua compared his opponent’s build to a former sparring partner and believes Takam’s technique will make for a more entertaining bout than if he were fighting Kubrat Pulev, as was originally planned. ‘It’s probably a more enticing fight [than it would have been against Pulev],’ Joshua told Sky Sports’ press conference. ‘I spar my cousin Benga and he’s just like Takam’s build.

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I think our styles will create some really good fireworks’. ‘Cardiff is looking really good and it’s good to be fighting here again,’ added Joshua. ‘[Fighting] is all I do, it’s all I know and it’s an honour to be defending these belts. I’m just looking forward to getting back to business’. Joshua said he believes ‘hungry’ fighters like Takam ensure the heavyweight division will remain exciting for the foreseeable future. ‘The fans are always going to be the winners in this division now because hungry guys are coming,’ Joshua added. ‘Takam wants to perform in the ring and it’s the same with me. Joshua described Takam as a ‘better all-round fighter’ than Pulev and said the stand-in opponent represents a ‘more dangerous’ test. ‘This is a more dangerous fight than Pulev would have been,’ Joshua said earlier this month. ‘Takam weighs 22 stones.

He’s a better all-round fighter and I’ve been preparing to box someone totally different. ‘Takam is incredibly durable and will be harder to knock out, but when Pulev got hurt the other day there were only two answers to the situation. We could cancel the show, which would have been a disaster for everyone. Or we carry on.’

Takam takes Joshua’s challenge in his stride. Carlos Takam is remarkably relaxed about the ordeal that awaits him against Anthony Joshua in Cardiff on tonight, which could be interpreted as complacency or dangerous sangfroid. “I’m not bothered about fighting in front of 80,000 people,” the 36-year-old Frenchman said. “The only people in the ring will be myself and Joshua. Nothing else matters except the two athletes. I don’t see all those people when I’m in the ring.” However, he might be seeing at least a couple of Joshua at the Principality Stadium if the IBF and WBA champion can refocus after the disappointment of having prepared for the original but now injured mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev. Indications are the Briton will not find that a problem.

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Anthony Joshua risks taking eye off challenger Carlos Takam with Wilder talk Addressing the task of being a disregarded underdog and makeweight substitute on his first and probably only Sky Sports pay-per-view card, Takam acknowledges that Joshua is the best of the three heavyweight champions, ahead of Joseph Parker (WBO) and the WBC title-holder, Deontay Wilder. “Joshua and Wilder have very different styles,” he said. “It’s hard to say as I haven’t fought either of them yet, but I have the impression that Joshua is the better fighter of the two.” Takam, born in Cameroon and living in Paris, represented the country of his birth at the 2004 Olympics, going out in the first round.

He has toiled in the shadows as a professional but is regarded as a hard-jawed, solid-hitting opponent at that level just below elite.

 

I want to become undisputed heavyweight king in 2018 — Anthony Joshua The WBA and IBF champion defends his belts against Frenchman Carlos Takam in Cardiff on tonight. But he wants to unify the division by the end of next year.

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That means facing WBO titleholder Joseph Parker and WBC champion Deontay Wilder. “We could fight Parker in February or March, so you have the WBO and then it’s only one more,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “We’ve only boxed twice this year, which has worked out okay because the Klitschko fight was huge. “But ideally, March, April, summer then December. That would be nice. In a perfect world, two of the three fights would be for the additional belts. In any order.” Joshua has also not ruled out facing Tyson Fury should he clear his name at a UK Anti-Doping hearing in January. The undefeated 28-year-old said: “If he wants to get in the ring and he starts showing that he can move about and he can control that weight that he’s morphed into, people will watch him.”

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