Carlos Takam: Stepping in for Jarrell Miller Thursday Night on ESPN

I wrote an article for then Eastside Boxing now Boxing247 about Takam’s fight with Mike Perez all the way back in 2014.

I felt he deserved to win that fight on HBO back at the Bell Center in Canada and he has been a fighter I have enjoyed watching progress through his career. After the Perez fight Takam continued to pursue big fights and really challenged himself after graduating from the beating former top fighters phase of his arc. He had defeated Franz Botha and Michael Grant two veterans from the 90’s scene and went on to face two time title challenger Tony Thompson. He won that bout convincingly at a time when Thompson was still relevant after stopping David Price twice and going 12 rounds with Kubrat Pulev.

He became something of a hard luck fighter after his initial prominence. He fought Alexander Povetkin in Russia and after 9 exciting and very close rounds (the fight was even on all cards after the 8th) he was knocked cold by the Russian. After rebuilding himself back up he got a big chance with a title eliminator bout in Australia against undefeated Joseph Parker. After 12 hard fought rounds with bursts of exciting exchanges and back and forth action, Takam again came up short and was defeated 116-112 and 115-113 on the scores. Parker would go on to win the WBO title while Takam wouldn’t get his shot for another year.

In October of 2017 Anthony Joshua was looking to defend his unified belts in Cardiff after defeating Parker previously. Pulev was lined up to fight Joshua but only two weeks or so away from the bout he had to back out and Takam stepped in on very short notice. Takam used tricky bob and weave tactics and caught Joshua with several counters but ultimately was out classed after being cut early and dropped in the 4th. Takam pressed on but was stopped late in the fight on his feet in what appeared to be an early stoppage. No he wasn’t winning or going to win but he was robbed of a chance to go the distance. It is a shame that his only title chance was on short notice but its more chances than most fighters ever get. He had one more prominent fight and that was against Derek Chisora in the UK in 2018. After being in front and in control, Takam was starting to pour it on vs Chisora and many on lookers on the boxing forum’s round by round threads were calling for it to be stopped to protect the aging vet. Chisora sprung a brilliant shot and knocked Takam cold closely along the lines of how he was flattened by Dillian Whyte in their rematch.

Takam is fighting to get that one last chance at a title shot. Takam is currently unranked by any of the 4 sanctioning bodies and at 39 it seems like his chances are waning. He took a chance at Joshua as a stand in and this is a big chance for him. Jerry Forrest is in his prime at 32 and has won 19 of his last 20 but he has only defeated a handful of guys with winning records. The three guys with recognizable names on his ledger are Jermaine Franklin, Michael Hunter, and Gerald Washington; they have 2 things in common, they are solid pros and they beat Jerry Forrest. If Takam is anywhere near his 2017-2018 form he should be able to defeat Forrest without too much difficulty. Forrest has only fought 4 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds and only actually made it past the 8th round once. Given the complete difference in class I would have to go with Takam here though he has been stretched out on the canvas a few times.

Prediction: Carlos Takam by comfortable decision

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