Anthony Joshua has recruited former opponent Carlos Takam as a sparring partner to help him prepare for his heavyweight unification bout with Joseph Parker.
Takam, 37, stepped in to fight Joshua on just 12 days' notice last October after would-be opponent Kubrat Pulev pulled out after suffering a shoulder injury. The Cameroon-born heavyweight forced the IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO champion to 10 rounds – with Wladimir Klitschko the only man to keep the Briton in the ring any longer – in what was a tough examination for the Briton in front of 78,000 fans in Cardiff.
Out to add Parker's WBO title to his collection, Joshua has seen fit to bring in the veteran in his bid to topple the New Zealander.
"AJ doesn't want to spar someone who is not on a world level," Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said, the Independent report. "AJ wants someone who is competitive.
"It is a compliment that AJ has six or seven sparring partners but has said 'I want Takam because I believe that is a great spar, he can give me great work'."
The decision to hand Joshua the win in the 10<sup>th against Takam was met with boos from a section of the audience at the Principality Stadium that night, with many frustrated with what they deemed a premature stoppage. Over four months on from that night, Takam remains adamant the wrong call was made.
He told Boxing News Online: "I asked him [referee Phil Edwards] after the fight, 'Why did you stop it, why did you stop it?' I want to see the referee again, face to face, and ask him again: 'Why did you stop the fight?' It was terrible."
Joshua is looking to extend his professional record to 21-0 when he clashes with Parker later this month, with every victory to date coming via stoppage.