Anthony Joshua is ready to “go to war” with Carlos Takam and is turning his attention away from knock-out blows to punishing body shots.
Takam (35-3-1) stepped in as late notice for this weekend’s WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight title clash with Joshua after the Briton’s original opponent Kubrat Pulev withdrew due to injury.
It meant a quick change in the 28-year-old’s preparations for the bout in Cardiff, with Takam a very different fighter to Pulev.
But Joshua is relishing the challenge and knows he will need a different approach to topple his 36-year-old opponent and retain his belts.
“I’m going to stand in front of (Takam) and chop his tree down, because that’s what he does,” Joshua told Sky Sports on Wednesday evening.
“A fighter like him wants to get on the inside, and work you around the body. I can’t keep punching straight if a fighter is on my chest, so I need to work on my inside game and stand in a phone box. Those fights come down to will, heart and whoever wants it more.
“He disheartens you.
â€œImagine throwing your best shots and they are still in front of you. It’s disheartening. To do that for 12 rounds takes a lot of energy so sometimes I’ll have to stand in front of him, trade with him, and go to war. I need to break his will, to break his heart.”
The reigning champion added: “Takam keeps on coming, keeps on coming. He works the body well, and loves a left hook. I already thought he was a game, well-rounded fighter so what is going to happen when he comes here and has everything to take home with him? I’ll see an improved Takam.
“With Pulev it wasn’t about whipping him around the body, it was about staying off the line and boxing down the middle. Carlos is different – he can trade down the middle. My speed will beat his combinations. A good way to beat Carlos is to take his body out, that’s what (Alexander) Povetkin did to him.”
Takam’s style does not worry Joshua â€“ who is looking to go 20-0 on Saturday â€“ and he is confident he has the arsenal to come out on top
“(Takam) moves around a lot, and boxes well. As the rounds start going on he likes to trade, and throw hooks on the inside,” said the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist.
“I’ve had sparring partners who have tried to knock me out, and I’ve had to dig in and give them some body shots.
“So my inside game has definitely improved. If we stand on the inside and start trading, it will be entertaining.”