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Tonight at 8 pm Eastern Time, Jerry Forrest will enter the ring against Carlos Takam, who stepped in as a late replacement for Jarrell Miller. While a late replacement usually means an easier fight for the boxer who got jilted, Takam is a veteran who has always fallen just short of the elite and could cause problems for Forrest. Here we’ll take a look at both boxers and how they match up.
This will be only Forrest’s second fight against a boxer of this level after he narrowly missed out on beating Jermaine Franklin last year. Forrest was impressive, working well behind his jab and cutting angles on the surprised Franklin. He made a great account of himself and arguably looked like he should have been the favorite going into it, aside from the fact that not many had seen him fight before.
While Forest has a decent 26-3 record, his wins have come over journeyman and lower-level fighters. His performance against Franklin gave him a good boost and is probably what got him the gig against Jarrell Miller in the first place.
From what we’ve seen, Forrest is a pretty smart boxer who doesn’t just come straight forward or backward. While he does throw power punches and can do a lot with his 225lbs, he’s more likely to try working the ring against the larger Takam. At 32 he’s got youth on his side, in this fight at least, and will be aware of Takam’s energy drop off in the later rounds.
We suspect Forrest will look to replicate his boxing from the Franklin fight, staying mostly on the outside and keeping Takam at bay. He’ll get drawn into the odd battle if Takam catches him hard, but for the most part, he’ll probably try to work Takam’s body early on. While I think he’ll be out fo his depth tomorrow, if Forrest can take Takam to the distance and make sure to go punch for punch with him in the first 6-7 rounds, he should have the last rounds to himself.
The Frenchman has had just 12 days to prepare for a fight against a man he’d probably never seen fight before until he signed the contract. Most boxers wouldn’t dream of taking a fight so late, but Takam was already in training for his now-cancelled match against Oscar Rivas. It’s also worth noting that Takam has done this exact thing before, stepping in against Anthony Joshua on just 12-days notice after Kubrat Pulev pulled out of their fight in 2017.
For the 38-year-old, with 44 pro fights under his belt, the lack of prep time for Forrest’s specific style might cause a few problems. However, given his level of experience and the fact that Rivas looked to be a much more troubling fight, Takam is probably quite confident in himself at the moment. Add in the fact that Rivas and Forrest are both about 6’1″, but Forrest drops about 15lbs to Rivas, and Takam can assume he’s in for a less physical fight.
Takam is quite short for a Heavyweight himself, at 6’1″, but is powerfully built and sits all of his weight into his punches. He came in at 245lbs at the weigh-in and looked much leaner than Forrest, so it’s safe to assume he was being honest about having trained hard even after his fight with Rivas got called off.
Carlos Takam will look to dominate Forrest from the bell, as he’s known for fading into the late rounds. He’s an aggressive boxer and will keep the pressure on Forrest, even if it means taking hard shots in return, trying to cut the ring and not allowing the New Yorker to get his momentum going.
For the Cameroon native, it’ll be business as usual, as he rarely modifies his fighting strategy too much and sticks to what he feels he does best. His lack of adaptability might be what’s kept him from winning any of his step-up fights against Joshua, Parker, Chisora, or Povetkin, but he’s still a hard-punching pressure fighter who can go hard for almost eight rounds. If Jerry Forest is still standing going into the ninth, Takam will have faded enough that he might be able to capitalize, but he’ll need to weather the storm first.
I’m predicting this fight to be full of fireworks and will be surprised if it goes the distance. We have Takam taking it by stoppage before the 6th round, but I’m open to being surprised by Forrest who put in an impressive display in his split decision loss to Jermaine Franklin last year, which we thought he’d done more than enough to win.