By Ognian Georgiev
Italian boxing promoter and manager Christian Cherchi is trying to bring his protege IBF#3 Carlos Takam (34-3-1, 26 KOs) to a heavyweight title fight. The Cameroon-born puncher is looking to clash with IBF #2 Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) if Anthony Joshua’s IBF belt is stripped.
Mr. Cherchi, What are the chances of a Carlos Takam vs. Kubrat Pulev fight to happen?
We’ve got our hopes. We are in contact with IBF on the situation. The most important thing is the status of Anthony Joshua. He won the title in April 2016 in a voluntary defense of the champion Charles Martin. Joshua defended the title three times, in June against Dominic Breazeale, in December against Eric Molina and now in April 2017 against Wladimir Klitschko. Now he is heading for his fourth title defense against Klitschko in November. All those defenses were voluntary.
Eddie Hearn asked for an exception to fight the mandatory Kubrat Pulev in February 2018. That means that Joshua is still fighting for his title without making obligatory defenses for about two years. That never happened before with the IBF. We understand that Klitschko-Joshua was a very big event, great for boxing, but now they want to do the rematch without fulfilling their mandatory obligations. If there is such a rematch, the title must be given to the winner of the IBF #2 Pulev – IBF #3 Takam fight. I will take a flight to the USA for the IBF convention (to see how the situation will be resolved).
Are you in contact with Kubrat Pulev’s people to join forces against Eddie Hearn’s request?
Our demand should be supported by Pulev’s people as well. I was contacted once by Chris Meyer (Sauerland’s general manager). All the time I’m in contact with IBF. At the convention, we’ll sit down all together to see how to resolve the situation. There is a chance to see an interim title fight between Pulev and Takam. In the event the Joshua-Klitschko’s winner won’t fight the interim champion, then the interim champion will become world champion. You have to obey the rules.
How do you see timewise a possible interim fight between Takam and Pulev? When could this bout happen?
My estimation is that the fight must take place by the end of the year. There will be negotiations. We may do it after October?
What is your opinion about Kubrat Pulev as a heavyweight contender?
“Cobra” Pulev is a good fighter. He is a little bit down after Klitschko’s fight, but he’s still a decent fighter. It will be a good match. The chances will be 50/50. Carlos has very good chances to win the title. He can beat everybody. He lost to Parker, but it was a close decision. Takam is dangerous against everybody and could beat everybody.
Is Takam ready to come to Bulgaria to fight Pulev?
I hope that Pulev is ready to come to France. The situation with Takam is now changed. We had our last fight in Macao, China. We were co-promoters of the event. The Chinese promoters liked Takam very much. Maybe they’ll be interested in staging a fight with Pulev. Carlos now will fight on June 17 in the casino of Saint-Vincent. Boxing will be there for the first time after 26 years and the main event will be between European middleweight champion Emanuele Blandamura (26-2) and former Italian middleweight king Alessandro Goddi (30-1-1). We’re close to signing a contract with Takam’s opponent and his name will be announced soon.
Ognian Georgiev is a Bulgarian sports journalist and author of the book “The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s Secret Story”. You may find more about him on his blog: http://ogigeorgiev.wordpress.com/