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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Anthony Joshua to defend IBF title against Carlos Takam after Kubrat Pulev withdraws with injury

Fight shceduled for October 28 in Cardiff will go ahead 

Anthony Joshua will look to extend his unbeaten professional record to 20 wins and 20 knockouts when he faces Carlos Takim. Andrew Couldridge / Reuters
Anthony Joshua will look to extend his unbeaten professional record to 20 wins and 20 knockouts when he faces Carlos Takim. Andrew Couldridge / Reuters

Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF world title against Carlos Takam after Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev withdrew due to a shoulder injury.

Joshua, 28, will take on Frenchman Takam in Cardiff on October 28, in his first bout since defeating Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA title in April.

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"I received a call from Kalle Sauerland ... to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and maybe ruled out of the fight – this was later confirmed by his doctor," promoter Eddie Hearn said in a statement.

"IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line which is Carlos Takam."

Takam is ranked third in the IBF rankings and Hearn believes Joshua will face a tough challenge against the 36-year-old.

Takam is expected to be ring ready come fight night, with Hearn revealing that the Cameroonian-French boxer has been training as a standby option.

"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," Hearn said.

"When the Pulev fight was announced I made a deal with Takam's team to begin camp and be on standby for this fight. When I called them this evening they were overjoyed and good to go."

Joshua is undefeated in 19 fights since turning professional in 2013 and will face Cuban Luis Ortiz, the mandatory challenger for his WBA title, after the Takam fight.