British Heavyweight boxer, Anthony Joshua (AJ), has once again been outclassed by another less-fancied opponent in the world heavyweight boxing division at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night.
A glorious display of skill from Oleksandr Usyk in their pulsating world heavyweight championship fight saw AJ lost in a unanimous decision to the Ukrainian former cruiserweight champion, losing all his three world titles. All three judges awarded the fight to the Ukrainian by scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.
The defeat, second in his career, ended Joshua’s reign as IBF, WBA and WBO champion in a sensational fight in which Usyk produced a scintillating performance. Joshua was badly hurt in the third round and then forced to cling on in the closing seconds of a fight which will live long in the memory.
AJ who failed to show up on the night, suffered a similar disgraceful defeat in his career after he was upset by Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019. The lost will now devastate hopes of the dream undisputed title fight against Tyson Fury, who again faces Deontay Wilder on October 9, after Usyk inflicted another twist in this incredible division.
Usyk makes history
For the unbeaten Usyk, it was a feather in his cup as he;became the third boxer (after Evander Holyfield and David Haye) to win world titles at the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions.
Speaking after the fight, the Ukrainian said “the fight went the way I expected it to go. There were a couple of moments where Anthony Joshua pushed me hard, but just nothing special”. The win, he said, “means a lot for me”.
“I had no objective to knock him out because my corner pushed me not to do that. In the beginning, I tried to hit him hard, but then I stuck to my job.
“The only thing I wanted to do with this fight is to give praise to Jesus Christ. I have been working so hard since January in preparation for this fight, it took me half a year;and I didn’t see my family for so long”.Usyk
AJ to bounce back
After his defeat, Anthony Joshua said he is “a different animal, not a sulker” and “will bounce back”. “I couldn’t see in round nine”, said Joshua, 31, after an eye injury he sustained during the titanic bout. His promoter Eddie Hearn suggested his fighter may have suffered a broken eye socket.
Asked after the fight about what went wrong, the defeated Briton said it was an experience he has never had in his career.
“I couldn’t see in the ninth round, couldn’t see anything really because my eye was shut. It was a good experience because in adversity you’ve just got to learn to control yourself, stay on top of things, so when I couldn’t see anything – it’s the first time that it’s happened in a fight.”AJ
Too much respect for opponent
Hearn said Joshua had given Usyk, 34, too much respect and would have to make “fundamental changes” to regain the WBA, WBO and IBF titles he lost in the fight.
The Briton has a rematch clause in his contract with Usyk, and later confirmed he would take it.
“When I was walking back through the tunnel, I just said to myself, I’m ready to get back to the gym, I’m ready to just put that work in. I just want to get back to the gym, get back on the grind and improve, so when I fight these good guys and see that they are hurt I can capitalize on the opportunity.
“It was a great lesson today. I know we can look at it from a negative point of view but, for me, I’ve got to take it as a great lesson and build on that situation.
“ So, it’s not so much what he’s done, it’s the opportunities that I gave him. It’s not so much him. I’m just going to go back and look at myself and correct my wrongs”.AJ
Unification fight, unlikely
Fight promoter Frank Warren doubts the much-anticipated heavyweight boxing match between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua will take place after the latter’s lackluster defeat to Oleksandr Usyk. Warren indicated that with that performance, Fury would have knocked out AJ in the third round.
“You would’ve thought the bigger man would have imposed himself. He just did not do it. Not in any part of that fight was he dominant. Usyk was totally outboxing him.”Frank Warren
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