The three men mentioned in the ring after Anthony Joshua's intriguing victory in Cardiff yesterday - Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury - will have all felt a desire to fight the high-profile Englishman after watching the bout and perhaps as soon as possible.

Joshua's victory over Carlos Takam at the Principality Stadium was straightforward enough - he won virtually every round against an increasingly bloody Takam, who suffered cuts over both eyes before referee Phil Edwards stopped the fight (prematurely according to many, including this writer), in the 10th round.

It was understandable that Edwards made the decision he did, for Takam had taken a clean shot from the powerful Joshua and at the back of the official's mind would have been the fact the 36-year-old's facial cuts had been regularly inspected by a ring-side doctor.

And yet, Takam deserved to see out the 12 rounds despite the fact he wouldn't have won the fight. He didn't seem hurt, and was defending himself. He almost certainly would have set about counter-punching Joshua as he had all evening.


Takam was extremely disappointed at the decision and so were many among the 80,000 crowd, and boos aren't often heard at a Joshua fight apart from when they are directed at the boxer's promoter Eddie Hearn. It highlighted that Joshua was having real difficulty getting Takam out of there despite the fact his opponent, a ring-in for Kubrat Pulev, had prepared for the bout for only 12 days.

Parker told the Herald straight after watching the broadcast that he felt Joshua looked "average" and "robotic". Six months after Joshua's incredible victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley, he looked powerful but yet slow and sluggish against Takam.

The 28-year-old from Watford, a charismatic character and a good role model, has become extremely popular in the United Kingdom but perhaps might not be set for the long reign that many of his supporters think he is.

In fact, it highlighted what a great piece of business Joshua's fight against the aging Klitschko was. It was easily Joshua's toughest opponent of his career, and a gamble, and yet the timing was probably perfect. Klitschko, now retired, was clearly in decline and the victory catapulted Joshua into the stratosphere of the sport.

Against Takam, Joshua looked predictable and slow. His movement was poor and he didn't punch in combinations. New Zealander Parker, the WBO world champion, who has never been hurt let alone floored during his amateur or professional career, clearly fancies his chances against Joshua.

Parker probably doesn't have the power that Joshua does but he does have speed, tactical know-how and an ability to take a punch. American Wilder, the WBC world champion, has a bazooka of a right hand, but his defensive ability is questionable and he can be extremely wild.

Joshua said in the ring afterwards that he wants to hold on to all of his three belts - the IBF, WBA and IBO, and therefore wants to fight all of his mandatory defences. But a unification fight takes precedence over a mandatory and would allow Parker or Wilder to jump the queue.

That wouldn't apply to Fury, stripped of his titles following his non-activity and admission of drug use. And it's Fury that perhaps Joshua should fear most. Joshua showed against Takam that he can quite easily be taken out of his comfort zone - a clash of heads in the second round left him with a swollen nose which clearly worried him - and Fury is as awkward and provocative as they come.

His antics before the Klitschko fight in Germany in late 2015 - complaints about the ring and requests for his opponent to re-wrap his hands - put the Ukraine off his game. He is also difficult to hit and possesses enough offensive weapons to trouble anyone.

If anything could get Fury back in the ring it must be the promise of a huge payday - something he never got from Klitschko despite his achievements in dethroning the king - and a real chance to get his belts back.

For Parker, who would like the Joshua fight any time the price is right, and Wilder, who presumably feels the same, the key is to remain patient.