Deontay Wilder versus Anthony Joshua has to happen,” says promoter Eddie Hearn, whose entrance is greeted by cascades of boos from the upper reaches of the Principality Stadium. “Everyone knows where we’re headed.”
He adds: “Deontay Wilder will be relieved of that belt in 2018.”
“I have no interest in what’s going on with the officials,” Joshua says during his in-ring interview. “I just worry about my opponent. Unfortunately, the ref stopped it. I think people wanted to see Takam unconscious on the floor, am I right?
“He was getting there. I didn’t have control over the ref’s decision. We get the win and now we look forward to 2018.”
Joshua wins. And he’s the rightful winner in a mostly one-sided. But that’s as poor as stoppage as you’ll see in this game. What a strange moment to intervene. Takam was coming off a round he’d won (arguably, though I scored it to him) and was firing back!
The crowd cheers for the outcome but they are hugely dissatisfied with the result. Just too bad.
Anthony Joshua wins by TKO in the 10th round!
Some good moments from Joshua early in the 10th and … and the referee has stepped in to intervene! It’s over! Joshua by TKO early in the 10th! And the crowd, at least initially, is not happy!
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The bell rings for the ninth round but the ringside doctor is on the apron before Takam can get out of his corner. He’s taking a long look at the Frenchman’s eye, but he agrees he’s good to go. Takam bouncing and weaving and trying to negotiate his way inside that outrageous reach advantage of the champion. He lunges forward and lands and overhand right but it seems to slip right off the bigger man. Joshua trying to split the guard with one left jab after another. It’s not happening. A left-right combo by Takam and the let lands clean. Takam landing punches here! Three, four in succession with no answer from the champion. One tough customer. A punishing left upstairs by Joshua in the last 10 seconds but Takam seems to walk right through it. The later it goes, the more interesting it gets. A close round and we’ll give it to Takam.
Unofficial score: Joshua 9-10 Takam (Joshua 88-82 Takam)
The referee calls time and instructs Joshua’s corner to fix the tape on his right glove. The crowd whistles impatiently. Joshua continues to jab, targeting the right eye of Takam which is bleeding steadily. A big left hook by Joshua rocks Takam. Then another! But he’s still in there throwing punches. Wow. Massive shots, those. Takam bouncing on the balls of his heels while Joshua looks a bit tired, though with a half-minute yet this is a clear Joshua round, thanks in large part to excellent body work. Joshua’s gloves covered in blood.
Unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Takam (Joshua 79-72 Takam)
Takam in survival mode. He’s doing body work in spurts and an atypically sloppy Joshua has thus far been unable to close the show. More good jabbing from Joshua, but he’s breathing a bit heavy past the midpoint. Takam landing some clean shots here. And a few more in combination! Joshua smiles them off but this is a fight. A round that could have gone either way with Joshua appearing to pace himself (correctly) and we’ll tip it to the challenger.
Unofficial score: Joshua 9-10 Takam (Joshua 69-63 Takam)
Joshua continuing to close in on Takam. He throws a combination but Takam claps back with a left upstairs. Now he bursts forward and misses with a combination. Last stand, feels like. Joshua looking collected as ever, jabbing, jabbing, jabbing away with the left and looking for an opening. Takam rushes in and clubs a right to Joshua’s body but it doesn’t seem to affect the champion one bit. Another left downstairs from Takam right on the beltline, but Joshua fires back and lands a right upstairs. Takam now in a variation of the Philly shell or crab defense with the right hand guarding his face and the left to his body. Joshua landing away with the hook almost at will, but none of the more than 74,500 on hand can question Takam’s toughness.
Unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Takam (Joshua 60-53 Takam)
Another nervy star. Just as the action picks up, the referee calls time and calls for the ringside doctor to inspect the cut over his right eye. The doctor is satisfied and the fight continues. Takam rushes in and Joshua lands a right uppercut that doesn’t appear to faze the challenger, incredibly. Better combination punching from Joshua here. An AJ combo finds nothing but leather upstairs but he follows with a hook to the body that stops Takam in his tracks, then a right to the head when Takam drops his guard. Two more big shots to the body and those shots will most certainly take their toll. Takam makes it out of the round but his face is a bloody mess and he’s lost the spring in his step. Not much longer now, we feel safe in predicting.
Unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Takam (Joshua 50-44 Takam)
Takam down in round four!
So far this one won’t be sent to Canastota. Limited action as Joshua continues to try and measure and look for an opening while Takam remains uncommitall to closing the distance. And just like that Takam barrels in and just misses with a right as Joshua lands a counter right that awakens the crowd. Joshua tries to follow up on it and can’t land anything flush as the crowd bursts into cheers. A big right by Joshua. Takam is cut over the right eye. And Takam goes down! A left hook just at the end of the round and Takam’s round touches the canvas. Referee gives an eight count and the bell rings before Joshua can follow it up.
Unofficial score: Joshua 10-8 Takam (Joshua 40-35 Takam)
Joshua continues to move forward, measuring Takam and looking for an opening. A beautiful counter by Joshua to start the stanza. Takam beats him to the punch with a straight left that lands upstairs, but doesn’t deter the champon. Joshua traps Takam in a neutral corner and tries to open up, but Takam escaped before damage can be done. Lots of bobbing from Takam, trying to make himself an elusive target. Joshua traps him in the red corner and lets fly another combination but Takam escapes again. Now Takam rushes in and lands a soft right before missing a left uppercut wildly and spinning away before Joshua can counter. Joshua’s nose really gushing from that accidental butt. Takam constantly leading with the head and it’s something AJ will have to solve. Joshua headhunting early but he’s done enough to win another round.
Unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Takam (Joshua 30-27 Takam)
Joshua continues where he left off, stalking Takam and pawing with the left and trying to set up the leviathan right. Takam barrels forward and tries to land something but finds all leather. Now Joshua lands a hook to the body that gets the crowd buzzing. Perhaps a sign of things to come: no doubt Joshua will look to catch Takam with a counter right when he comes rushing in at some point. Joshua appears to be bleeding from the left nostril after an apparent head butt. The size difference is even more harrowing in person than on TV. Joshua now landing: he touches Takam with an uppercut that wobbles the Frenchman ever so slightly. Another round for Joshua.
Unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Takam (Joshua 20-18 Takam)
A bit of a feeling-out patch from both men to start. Joshua pawing with the left jab, moving Takam backward steadily, then stepping in and trying to fire a left-right combo. Takam moving steadily in reverse. He throws his first punch and it’s a wide looping hook to the body that does nothing. Joshua clearly trying to set up the big right. Takam barely lands a slow right upstairs. Joshua looks a bit slower than we’re used to, perhaps a product of the career-high weight (254lbs) he’s carrying. Hardly a significant punch to speak of in the opener, but Joshua was clearly dictating the action and surely threw more punches.
Unofficial score: Joshua 10-9 Takam (Joshua 10-9 Takam)