Former heavyweight title contender Carlos Takam defeated Jerry Forrest by unanimous decision after 10 rounds Thursday night in the main event of a Top Rank card inside "The Bubble" at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Although the pace was steady throughout, sustained action in this meeting of heavyweights looking for bigger and better things was hard to come by for most of the fight.
At the end of 10 rounds, Takam (39-5-1, 28 KOs) was on top of all three judges' cards, winning by scores of 96-94, 98-92 and 97-93.
"We took this fight on short notice, but the opportunity on ESPN was too big to pass up. We knew we could beat him regardless," said Takam, who stepped in after Jarrell Miller failed a prefight drug test.
Takam was also dealing with a serious family issue in the lead-up to Thursday's fight.
"My father passed away a week ago, so I came into the fight with a heavy heart. It may not have been a spectacular knockout, but most importantly, we got the win," he said.
Takam got off to a quick start, as he threw clubbing right hands, and his size and strength kept Forrest (26-4, 20 KOs) at bay in the early rounds. A clash of heads caused a cut near Takam's right cheekbone, though, and that seemed to bother him in the second half of the fight.
Forrest had more success in the late rounds as Takam's pace slowed, but it was far too little, too late to tilt the scores in his favor.
The experience of Takam was likely key. He's a veteran who has been in the ring with Anthony Joshua, Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora, and despite suffering four of his career losses in those bouts, Takam has gained a certain amount of veteran savvy and guile.
With his latest victory, the veteran is hoping for another shot at the brass ring in the division.
"I want anyone in the top five, or a title shot if that materializes," he said.