Joshua v Parker on the horizon
Anthony Joshua’s promoter has confirmed Joseph Parker remains in the British fighter’s sights as he attempts to unify the world boxing titles in 2018.
Joshua was taken to the 10th round before stopping the durable Carlos Takam and retaining his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles in front of an estimated 75,000 fans in Cardiff yesterday.
Joshua is now expected to put his WBA, IBF and IBO belts on the line against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker early next year.
The Englishman’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, confirmed after the Cardiff fight: ’’I promise you that! Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker, Tyson Fury - those are the 2018 fights.’’
Wilder has been the WBC heavyweight champion since 2015 while Parker won the the WBO crown last year. Fury relinquished the WBA, WBO and IBC titles in 2016, pending a doping investigation which later led to a ban. He indicated earlier this month he would be applying for reinstatement.
In Cardiff, the referee moved in to stop the fight after Joshua caught Takam with a hookuppercut combination and was moving in to land more blows. The Frenchman shook his head in disgust and many in the crowd jeered the decision.
At the end of an uncomfortable evening for Joshua, during which he might have broken his nose through a second-round clash of heads, the British boxer earned a 20th straight win.
Takam was fighting at 12 days’ notice – as an injury replacement for Kubrat Pulev – and lived up to his reputation as a tough opponent, absorbing big shots by Joshua and making himself tough to hit with his movement.
Takam took an eight count in the fourth round after toppling from a left hook by Joshua, and fought on with a cut above his right eye that twice required treatment.
Joshua was taken beyond seven rounds for only the second time in his pro career. The other time was the 11-round fight against Wladimir Klitschko in April.
‘‘I was trying to break him down round by round,’’ Joshua said. ‘‘Unfortunately, the ref stopped it. I think people want to see Takam unconscious on the floor. That was where I was trying to get to. I don’t have control over the ref’s decision.’’
Takam (35-4-1) was cheered by the crowd after the fight.
‘‘I don’t know why the referee stopped the match,’’ he said.
Then, they produce 20 sublime minutes of finishing to go up 3-0 against Brisbane Roar at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday, but fail to control the rest of the game, garnering only 42 per cent possession at home as Brisbane rallied late to snatch a 3-3 draw.
Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic was caught between two reactions to the draw, seeing enough in their early play to expect good things to not be too far away.
‘‘I am disappointed. It’s double though because I am also glad to see my team after three games playing like how they did in the first half. Unbelievable improvement.
‘‘But from another side I see also things in the second half that we have to improve and make that step.
‘‘I think you have to put this in the right perspective, to realise exactly where we are, how young our process is, our situation with the players who didn’t play, all of this stuff.
‘‘For me as a coach, there is no space to be emotional, I have to think from reason and analyse the game how it is and analyse the process from where it is at this time to try and make the next step in the next game to probably soon, with comfortable leadership, not lose any more games.’’
‘‘Still I think we have to be able, with the players we have, to win this game.’’ Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic, right
Kalezic is right about players they were missing.
Centrebacks Andrew Durante and Marco Rossi both missed the the game with groin injuries, although the former was seen in his kit running fitness drills after the match.
They also lost right back Scott