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Monday’s Boxing Thoughts: Joshua underwhelms amidst controversial stoppage

Let's round up the weekend's action; including a successful heavyweight defence from Anthony Joshua in front of 78,000 fans in Cardiff.

Is Anthony Joshua the real deal?

After a night shrouded in scepticism and controversy surrounding the PPV cost of Joshua vs Takam, “AJ” walked out of the Millennium Stadium with his IBF, WBA and IBO straps firmly around his waist. After stopping the durable, tough and game French-Cameroonian in the tenth round, talk of “what’s next” was already on the lips of the viewing public as fight fans discussed the future of Anthony Joshua.

Takam was a late replacement, and despite being the considerably shorter man he caused the Briton problems that he hadn’t encountered before. With a headbutt to the nose in the early part of the fight Joshua continued with blood affecting his breathing and once again showed signs of gassing as the fight went into deep waters. Joshua was fairly easy to hit in the fight, and despite showing he has the power to stop the most awkward and tough opponents, future encounters with the speed and power of Wilder or the skills and guile of Fury have left fans thinking “what if”.

“AJ” has cleared every hurdle that has been put in front of him, however after being told that the 28-year-old is the greatest British heavyweight since Lennox Lewis, as fans we can’t help but question the legitimacy of this claim. Joshua is the Matchroom poster-boy and will be protected as carefully as possible; however, when the bigger fights come knocking… expect “AJ’s” 0 to go…

Dillian Whyte fails to grab the attention of Wilder despite win

With Eddie Hearn looking to use Dillian Whyte as ‘cannon-fodder’ in a February match-up against WBC champ Deontay Wilder, the “Body-Snatcher” made life a lot harder for his promoter’s negotiations after a drab and lifeless unanimous decision win over Robert Helenius. 

The plan is to use Whyte vs Wilder to heighten the American’s profile in the UK ahead of a super-fight with Joshua in the summer, however with the “Bronzed-Bomber” demanding $7 million for the February fight, talks seem to have hit a brick wall.

Whyte is still living off that right hand that rocked “AJ” two years ago, and since their domestic dust-up has failed to kick on in the heavyweight division. With the Wilder fight looking unlikely to materialise, a rematch with his nemesis Dereck Chisora would be a better fit for the 29-year-old, as he looks to start making serious money in the sport.

Juergen Braehmer advances into a WBSS semi-final against Callum Smith

With a convincing points win over Robert Brant by scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112, Juergen Braehmer (49-3, KO35) advances into the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament. With the tournament continuing in January/February next year, the German sets up a clash with “Mundo” Callum Smith, with the winner facing either George Groves or Chris Eubank Jr in the final. 

Speaking in the press conference after the fight, Braehmer expressed his joy at continuing at the highest level after a tough year:

“I showed what I can do at 39 years of age. I had to work really hard to come back from injuries. I had problems with my back and a muscle tear. Doctors told me I would have to work very hard to come back, and that’s what I did.”

With Smith underwhelming in his win over Erik Skoglund earlier last month, the German former world champion will fancy his chances against the unbeaten Briton.

DeGale and Selby set for an IBF world title double-header in December

After spending significant portions of their recent careers trying to break the American market, James DeGale and Lee Selby have come back to the UK under the promotion of Frank Warren. Co-headlining a show at the Copper Box Arena on December 9, DeGale and Selby will make defences of their IBF super middleweight and featherweight straps, respectively, as the pair look towards super-fights in 2018.

With hot prospects Daniel Dubois and Anthony Yarde also featuring on the card, BoxNation and BT Sport have stepped up the pressure on competing UK promotional outfits, as Frank Warren has a final shot at toppling the Eddie Hearn monopoly.

With Lomachenko and Rigondeaux fighting later that evening in New York, December 9 is set up nicely as a pre-Christmas cracker for fight fans.

What was your highlight this weekend? Comment below…

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Lewis Watson

London based boxing Editor, fanatic and all-round lover of the 'Sweet Science'. Growing up in the 90's, Tyson, De La Hoya and Savon grabbed Lewis' attention at an early age, with Hatton-Tzsyu confirming the obsession in 2005.

As a student of the sport, you'll find him flicking through the archives of past "Sugar" Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali fights, as well as wide-eyed on a Sunday for the 5am Vegas bouts.

Also covering football, darts and tennis content for BetVictor and Betfair.

Monday’s Boxing Thoughts: Joshua underwhelms amidst controversial stoppage

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