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Takam steps in for Joshua bout after injury halts Pulev's title bid

 

By Declan Warrington

Carlos Takam has replaced Kubrat Pulev as the challenger to world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on October 28 after a shoulder injury forced the Bulgarian to withdraw.

Pulev had been the mandatory challenger to the IBF and WBA champion but misses out on his second world-title fight after hurting his shoulder sparring. Frenchman Takam, 36, will replace him with less than a fortnight's notice, meaning Pulev faces a lengthy wait to fight Joshua after losing his status as mandatory challenger with the IBF.

"I received a call from (Pulev's promoter) Kalle Sauerland late (yesterday) afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and was maybe ruled out of the fight," said Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn.

"This was later confirmed by his doctor. IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line which is Carlos Takam. When the Pulev fight was announced, I made a deal with Takam's team to begin camp and be on stand-by for this fight.

"When I called them this evening they were overjoyed and good to go.

"It's a difficult position for 'AJ' having prepared meticulously for the style and height of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam. This hasn't happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on October 28."

It was reported in Bulgaria that Pulev could yet challenge Joshua in November or December, but Matchroom have already sold more than 70,000 tickets for next month's event at Cardiff's Principality Stadium.

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