Anthony Joshua will put his WBA ‘Super’ and IBF heavyweight titles on the line against Carlos Tatam later this month after mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a shoulder injury.
British fighter Joshua had been scheduled to take on Pulev at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on October 28, but the Bulgarian has subsequently suffered a shoulder injury in training.
Pulev’s withdrawal has opened the door for Tatam, with promoter Eddie Hearn confirming the Cameroonian was delighted to be offered the chance to fill the void.
“I received a call from Kalle Sauerland late afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and maybe ruled out of the fight – this was later confirmed by his doctor,” Hearn said.
“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 standby for this fight.
When I called them (on Monday evening) they were overjoyed and good to go.”
Hearn conceded that the late change to his opponent is not ideal for Joshua, although he is confident the 28-year-old, who has won all 19 of his professional bouts to date by knockout, will be ready for the challenge come fight night.
“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.”