The 74,500-seat stadium, nearly full though the main event is still about two and a half hours away, offered a storybook backdrop for Taylor’s special night.Today at 5 pm ET on Showtime in the United States, Anthony Joshua defends his IBF and WBA heavyweight titles against Carlos Takam live from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Gennady Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez put on *the* fight of 2017, but after dispatching Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium, AJ is not far behind in terms of draw and entertainment.
The former Olympic champion was preparing for Kubrat Pulev initially but the Bulgarian picked up an injury and was forced to pull out.
Joshua (19-0, 19 KO) is the heavy favorite against Takam (35-3-1, 27 KO), and there’s no getting around that. But he’s also become a must-watch fighter in his short time as a professional, and is coming off of an instant classic against Wladimir Klitschko.
On the undercard, Kal Yafai (22-0, 14 KO) takes on Sho Ishida (24-0, 13 KO) for Yafai’s WBA super flyweight title … Dillian Whyte (21-1, 16 KO) faces Robert Helenius (25-1, 16 KO) for the WBC “silver” heavyweight title … Frank Buglioni (20-2-1, 15 KO) defends the British light heavyweight title against Craig Richards (10-0, 4 KO) … and Katie Taylor (6-0, 4 KO) faces Anahi Esther Sanchez (17-2, 9 KO), with the WBA lightweight title at stake for Taylor. Sanchez missed weight.
Dillian Whyte will be aiming to put on a statement before the main event in a bid to put his name in the reckoning to either secure a rematch with AJ or a world title shot with Deontay Wilder.
A world title fight between Kal Yafai and Sho Ishida will threaten to be the most compelling fight of the night.