Joshua v Parker on the hori­zon

The Dominion Post - - Sport - BOX­ING

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

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