Anthony Joshua will now fight Carlos Takam on October 28 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff after Kubrat Pulev pulled out of their heavyweight title clash with a shoulder injury.
News of the change came via Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn on Monday:
Eddie Hearn @EddieHearn
Update.. Kubrat Pulev has a shoulder injury and is out. IBF install IBF No.3 Carlos Takam as mandatory..deal done to fight AJ on October 282017-10-16 20:30:10
According to Riath Al-Samarrai of MailOnline, Pulev "is believed to have damaged his right shoulder in sparring."
Joshua is the current holder of the IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight belts, with Pulev previously the mandatory challenger for the former of those three championships.
The contest, now with Takam, is set to be Joshua's first since he became the unified champion, as he beat the legendary Wladimir Klitschko in an epic tussle at Wembley in May; after both men had earlier been floored in the fight, the Briton rallied in the 11th round to secure a stunning win.
Needless to say, after such a performance, interest is high in Joshua, and as reported by Al-Samarrai, in excess of 70,000 tickets are already said to have been sold for the contest.
In Takam, journalist Jack Rathborn believes a decent replacement has been drafted in:
Jack Rathborn @JackRathborn
Solid replacement at short notice, arguably beat Parker https://t.co/ZifPs8jPLT2017-10-16 20:32:20
As aforementioned, the 36-year-old acquitted himself well in a recent defeat to Joseph Parker, eventually losing via unanimous decision. His professional record reads an impressive 35 wins from 39 fights, of which 27 have come via knockout.
Takam will face an almighty challenge in trying to halt the champion. The 2012 Olympic gold medallist has won all 19 fights since turning professional, with all of his victories coming inside the distance.