Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF and WBA heavyweight world titles against Carlos Takam after Kubrat Pulev withdrew through injury.
The bout is scheduled for 28 October at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, with more than 70,000 tickets already sold.
It will be Joshua’s first fight since stopping Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in April. It was then when he added the WBA title to the IBF belt he claimed in 2016.
Pulev suffered a shoulder injury in sparring, which then made Takam the next in line.
The Cameroonian-French 36-year-old had been on standby for the fight, promoter Eddie Hearn said.
“I received a call from [promoter] Kalle Sauerland late afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder”.
“IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line, which is Carlos Takam.
“When the Pulev fight was announced I made a deal with Takam’s team to begin camp and be on standby for this fight. When I called them this evening they were overjoyed and good to go”.
Hearn added that the change of opponent put Joshua in a “difficult position”.
“Having prepared meticulously for the style and height of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam,” Hearn said.
“This hasn’t happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on 28 October.”
Hearn recently said Joshua’s aim was to face Pulev before meeting Cuban Luis Ortiz, the mandatory challenger for his WBA title.
He also stressed that Joshua does not want to vacate either of his belts. Joshua would rather defend them before hopefully facing WBC title holder Deontay Wilder in the summer of 2018.