Nigerian-born pugilist Anthony Joshua on Saturday night successfully defended his WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles by wearing down a game Carlos Takam with a controversial 10th-round Technical Knockout at a raucous Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
The Briton, 28, damaged his nose after a heavy head collision early on and did not have things all his own way against a fighter who took the bout at 12 days’ notice.
But in a key fourth round in which both men enjoyed success, Joshua dropped his man with a hook and badly damaged the eye of his rival.
Takam was twice inspected by ringside medics but battled on until he was overwhelmed in the 10th, when referee Phil Edwards stepped in to end the contest, much to the challenger’s frustration.
Takam, 36, was under pressure but not out on his feet and some inside the Cardiff venue booed the stoppage.
The crowd in Wales clearly felt the decision to stop the fight was premature, but Joshua said he has “no interest” in what the officials do.
“I come to fight, I don’t sit on the edge and make decisions,” he said. “It was a good fight until the ref stopped it, so I have the utmost respect for Takam.
“I have no interest in what is going on with the officials, that’s not my job. I think people want to see Takam unconscious on the floor, and that’s what I was trying to get to.”
Watford fighter Joshua said his nose had been badly swollen by Takam when the pair clashed heads in the second round.
“I had to keep my cool,” added Joshua. “I’ve got a few months to heal it up. I’ll go and see some good doctors to crack it back in place.
“If I showed any signs of weakness, the ref could have jumped in. That’s what he (Takam) tried to do, but the ref stopped it.”
Takam said: “I want a rematch, I made my preparations with 12 days to fight Anthony. I want to box him again. I want him, he is a great champion.”