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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Joshua set for his 20th KO against late stand-in Takam

Heavyweight champ can continue his knockout streak

Heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua
1 of 1

IBF, IBO & WBA heavyweight titles
Sky Box Office, approx 10pm Saturday

The last time we saw Anthony Joshua in action he was involved in one of most dramatic world heavyweight title fights in many years against Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley. 

While his latest defence against Frenchman Carlos Takam may not feature as much excitement, fans packing out the Cardiff's Principality Stadium should get plenty of bang for their buck. 

Joshua is virtually unbackable on the win market at odds as short as 1-66, so betting creativity is needed unless you anticipate a massive upset.

The London 2012 Olympic golden boy was originally slated to fight Kubrat Pulev but the Bulgarian pulled out injured.

Fortunately promoter Eddie Hearn had a Plan B having already agreed a deal with Takam, who was preparing for another fight, to step in should a problem arise with Pulev. 

The first thing viewers will notice when looking at the pair is the sheer difference in size. At 6ft 6in Joshua is five inches taller and his colossal frame absolutely dwarfs the challenger. Add in his 100 per cent knockout ratio and the obvious conclusion is that Takam will be 20th fighter to be bludgeoned into submission.


Best bets on the undercard


It is just 1-12 that AJ wins by KO and bookies aren't expecting it to go long. The fight lasting under 3.5 rounds is odds-on in places, while Takam is just 1-25 to hit the canvas. 

But while it's hard to see Takam pulling off an upset, he is there on merit. He is mandatory challenger for the IBF and WBA belts and presents a completely different challenge to what Joshua will have been preparing for Pulev to bring. 

He has better footwork and a higher workrate than the Bulgarian and carries plenty of power with 27 KOs from 35 wins. He has been stopped only once in 39 fights, but that tenth-round KO loss to Alexander Povetkin in 2014 shows that AJ can finish him off. 

Joshua is not invincible - he was rocked by Dillian Whyte and dropped by Klitschko - and may meet his match one day, but Takam is unlikely to be the man to derail him. 

Expect the challenger to give it everything and he is savvy enough to last a few rounds - Takam is on a different level to fighters such as Dominic Breazeale and Charles Martin - but Joshua is literally head and shoulders above him and should finish him off before the half-way point.

Recommendation
A Joshua in rounds four to six
1pt 15-8 Coral, Ladbrokes


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At 6ft 6in Joshua is five inches taller and his colossal frame absolutely dwarfs the challenger
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