Anthony Joshua tips scales at career-heavy weight ahead of Carlos Takam clash at Principality Stadium in Cardiff
A beefed-up Anthony Joshua will eclipse Muhammad Ali on Saturday night when he faces Carlos Takam in front of a world record indoor crowd of 78,000 underneath the closed roof of Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
The attendance beats the previous record set by Ali in 1978 when 63,315 fans watched him beat Leon Spinks in the New Orleans Superdome.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “We’ve never seen anything like this in British boxing and we may never see anything like it again.
“This fight will be broadcast in over 160 countries worldwide.”
Joshua weighed in at 18 stone two pounds, four pounds heavier than his previous fight against Wladimir Klitschko as the 2012 Olympic champion bids to take his unbeaten record to 20-0.
AJ entered camp eight pounds lighter than he did to face the Ukrainian, but has still put that weight—and some—back on to face Takam, who tipped the scales at 16 stone 11.5 pounds.
And the Londoner intends to put his defeat of Klitschko “to the side” when he defends his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.
The 28-year-old also insists the methods of his trainer Rob McCracken mean Takam replacing the injured Kubrat Pulev at late notice represents no additional threat.
April’s dramatic stoppage defeat of Klitschko, the dominant heavyweight of the modern era, represented the finest night of his decorated career and could yet also prove his defining fight.
As well as securing his financial future, that victory also made him one of Britain’s most popular figures, but far from revelling in that glory, the Olympic gold medallist is determined to move on.
“I think too much confidence can become cocky,” AJ replied when quizzed on whether he is focused on Takam post weigh-in. “I’ve been doing a lot more running, I’m filling out as I get older. I’ve got to keep a cool head on my shoulders. I didn’t expect a turnout like this, I appreciate it.
“I think he’s got a mindset of nothing to lose. He came in and grabbed my hand to see who’s got the stronger hand shake. It’s a dangerous mindset.
“I have to find a way to break him down, round by round. #StayHungry. I’m hungry still, for ever and ever. Everybody is hungry to succeed at whatever they are doing.
“You can be on the defensive but conserving energy. With Wladimir it was intense. Knowing my position in the ring. Being comfortable even when I’m not attacking
That breeds confidence, slipping shots. The outcome will remain the same. He looked in great shape. He was preparing for a fight on November 4, so he’s in condition. I know he’s going to start fast. Only he knows what he is going to do.
Saturday’s fight, which comes 24 years after Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno fought for the WBC heavyweight title at Cardiff’s National Stadium, takes place with Joshua and Takam having had less than a fortnight to prepare for each other following Pulev’s withdrawal.
“My trainer Rob McCracken has always taught me to focus on myself, my own personal development, rather than the opponent,” Joshua said.
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