Heavyweight Carlos Takam 39-5-1 (28) overcame a less than perfect preparation to outpoint Jerry ‘Slugger’ Forrest 26-4 (20) at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday night.
The 39-year-old stepped in as a late replacement after original opponent Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller failed a drugs test.
Takam was supposed to face Oscar Rivas on June 14 before Rivas was forced to withdraw with an injury.
“The preparation for this fight was not easy,” Takam said to ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna after the fight.
“I was supposed to fight June 14 versus Rivas but Mr Rivas could not fight because he had an injury. My promoter (Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing) called me and said he had a fight for me.
“I checked out Jerry Forrest and said, ‘okay, let’s go’. He asked if I was sure. I told him I’m ready to fight anybody.”
Takam got out to an early lead against 32-year-old southpaw Forrest although he suffered a cut under his right eye from an accidental headclash that seemed to bother him throughout the bout.
According to CompuBox, Takam almost doubled Forrest’s punch output in the first round, throwing 42 punches to 22 and lading twice as many shots at 10-5.
The set up the story of the first half of the fight, with Takam simply proving the busier and more accurate boxer.
As the fight progressed, Takam bounced less and rested more, but Forrest failed to take advantage of this more stationary version of Takam who outworked him in every round up to the eighth.
Forrest staged a mini-rally in the late rounds, outlanding Takam in rounds 9 and 10, but that proved to be too little too late.
In the final tally, the veteran Takam landed 106 of 455 punches over ten rounds, while the younger Forrest landed 70 of 321 punches.
All three judges awarded the fight to Takam by scores of 96-94 (Max DeLuca), 98-92 (Dave Moretti) and 97-93 (Patricia Morse Jarman).
Takam is hoping the Rivas fight can be rescheduled before another world title shot.
“I want to fight Oscar Rivas or [WBC champion] Tyson Fury,” he said of his future plans.
“I want anyone in the top five at heavyweight or a world title shot if that materializes.”
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