Nigeria and Cameroon have a boxing derby

Anthony Joshua and Takam have deep African roots

The heavyweight bout between Anthony Joshua and Carlos Takam has more at stake than just world titles.

There is the small issue of an African feud to be settled as well at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Anthony Joshua has never hidden his pride at his Nigerian heritage even though he grew up in the UK and he has been accepted as one of Nigeria’s own especially after his sensational 11th round knock out of the legendary Wladimir Klitschko earlier in the year. He even has a tattoo that depicts a map of Africa and a highlight on Nigeria.

His opponent Takam, was born in Douala,Cameroon and is a hero back home even though he currently resides in the French capital, Paris.


The two countries have always been sporting rivals especially in football but this match up has reignited the rivalry, something that is not lost on the shy Takam.

‘In football Cameroon v Nigeria is the big derby. We share a border. Now we have the big derby in boxing.’

‘The whole of Cameroon. I am receiving many phone calls. That is my country, my roots. I return often to visit my family and friends.’

Saturday’s fight will be the fifth defence for Joshua and will open the doors for a mega fight against American WBC holder Deontay Wilder.

Takam is an underdog by a wide margin according to punters  but he is relying on his experience from other world title fights to see him through. He has suffered three losses in his 36 fight career and two of those were to Povetkin and Parker, a duo who are among the better heavyweights available.


‘I am better known in France and Cameroon,’ he says: ‘But by the third or fourth round the 80,000 people in the crowd here will know me and like me."

Two neighbours in Africa will also be watching keenly.


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