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26th Oct 2017

Anthony Joshua said just six words when he found out that his opponent had been switched

Nothing could faze him

Darragh Murphy

Anthony Joshua’s trainer was a tad less relaxed than the undefeated heavyweight when the pair found out about the short-notice change of opponent last week.

Having originally been scheduled to face off with Kubrat Pulev in Cardiff this Saturday, Joshua found out that he’d have just 12 days to prepare for a totally different challenge in the form of Carlos Takam due to an injury to the Bulgarian heavyweight.

Early reports suggested that ‘AJ’ was somewhat annoyed by his lack of luck, having already seen his targeted rematch with Wladimir Klitschko fall by the wayside once the Ukrainian legend opted to hang up his gloves instead.

But, according to promoter Eddie Hearn’s most recent column, Joshua was actually a vision of composure when he discovered that he’d be sharing the ring with a totally new opponent.

Having explained how he’d already put Takam in place as a potential replacement should anything unfortunate happen, Hearn revealed that Joshua had very little to say when he learned of his new fight.

“I made the call to ‘AJ’ and told him about the opponent change – ‘No problem – that’s a fun fight,’ he said. He’s just a calm guy. Amazing really,” Hearn wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“His coach Rob McCracken didn’t quite have the same positivity. For 10 weeks they had trained for the 6ft 5in Kubrat Pulev and had replicated the sparring on his style – rangy, awkward and fairly defensive.

“Now they would face the polar opposite – a shorter, stockier, aggressive puncher that will be expected to walk down Joshua and get the champion to tire.

“McCracken switched up the sparring for the final week and they would do all they could to prepare for the change.

“Whilst the danger in this fight comes from the aggressive Frenchman, it also comes from the opponent changes and while ‘AJ’ starts a strong favourite in the fight, it’s certainly a fight where I will be pleased when his arm is raised on Saturday.”