Anthony Joshua defended his WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles by wearing down a resilent Carlos Takam with 10th-round stoppage at a raucous Principality Stadium in Wales.
The referee’s decision was booed by the Welsh crowd who clearly felt it was premature. Joshua, 28, damaged his nose after a heavy head collision early on and did not have things all his own way against a fighter who took the bout at just 12 days’ notice.
But in a key fourth round in which both men enjoyed success, Joshua dropped his man with a hook and badly damaged the eye of his rival.
Takam was twice inspected by ringside medics but battled on until he was overwhelmed in the 10th, when referee Phil Edwards stepped in to end the contest, much to the challenger’s frustration.
Takam, 36, was under pressure but not out on his feet and some inside the Cardiff venue booed the stoppage. The Briton made it 20 victories from as many bouts in front of an estimated 78,000 at the Principality Stadium.
Joshua said he has “no interest” in what the officials do. “I come to fight, I don’t sit on the edge and make decisions,” he said. “It was a good fight until the ref stopped it, so I have the utmost respect for Takam.
“I have no interest in what is going on with the officials, that’s not my job. I think people want to see Takam unconscious on the floor, and that’s what I was trying to get to.”
Carlos Takam asked if the referee was right to stop the fight. “No, I don’t think so,” he says. “I don’t know why the referee stopped the match. 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.
“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.”