Anthony Joshua tells Usyk: ‘Now I know how to beat you’
By Charles Brun: In Matchroom Sport’s documentary video released today of last Saturday’s events at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium, Anthony Joshua marched up to Oleksandr Usyk moments after the results of the fight were announced, and he told him, “Now, I know how to beat you?”
There are no words to describe how lost Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) looked in uttering that comment. Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) had pummeled Joshua in the 12th round and had him within an eyelash of being knocked out, and shockingly AJ believes that he knows how to beat him now.
Joshua has activated his rematch clause, and he’s ready to steam straight into the second fight with newly crowd IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight champion Usyk early next year.
The only thing being decided is when and where the second Joshua – Usyk fight will take place. Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn wants to stage it in the UK, but Kyiv, Ukraine, and the Middle East are also options.
If Joshua loses this fight, Hearn doesn’t believe his career will be over, and he says Joshua would merely be a contender who is working his way into a title shot.
The thing is, Joshua will be given title shots repeatedly by whoever holds the belt, but it’ll be wretched if he loses continually.
I mean, at some point, Hearn needs to let Joshua know that he needs to wake up and smell the coffee that he’s not going to be a world champion again unless he’s in the right place at the right time to pick up a secondary strap.
Joshua says he knows how to beat Usyk now
“We’re going to go again? Now I know how to beat you,” said Joshua to Usyk moments after the fight last Saturday when AJ congratulated Oleksandr for his win.
“Then he’s a challenger building himself back to a world title, and although he’s doing that now. He’s got a rematch clause, so there’s a straight shot back to becoming unified heavyweight world champion,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social when asked ‘If Anthony Joshua loses again, where does that put his career?’
“I see AJ boxing for [another] four or five years or however long he wants to stay in the game for,” Hearn continued.
“Some people say, ‘Does he still have the hunger?’ Mate, anyone that knows Anthony Joshua, all he lives and breathes for is boxing, and that’s the only thing in his life.
“I said to him the other day that it is a little bit sad maybe that’s his whole life, and he’s got so much more to give.
“But back-to-back defeats are never good. Back-to-back defeats to the pound-for-pound number one or two,” Eddie said.
It sounds like Joshua is kidding himself with him, believing he knows how to defeat Usyk. Given the way Usyk beat Joshua like a drum in rounds 9 through 12, AJ has no clue how to beat the talented Ukrainian.
It’s fair to say if Joshua foolishly takes the rematch with Usyk in early 2022, his career will be meteor dust.
For sure, Joshua will probably plug on after another loss to the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk, but his career will have evaporated all the same.
You would like to think that Joshua will listen to reason from his well-wishing boxing fans, who are warning him NOT to tangle with Usyk again. They want Joshua to head to safer pastures and let Tyson Fury take care of his problem for him against Oleksandr.
Hearn is angry that Joshua is being written off
“I just can’t believe that you lose to a fighter like Usyk, and the write-offs are unbelievable. ‘Oh, you should just call it a day.’ F**** hell.
“You got a young heavyweight [Anthony Joshua] pretty much, who is still hungry and who still has improvements to make, coming off a defeat 8-4, 7-5, 9-3, whatever you want to call it, boxing quite poorly with a bad strategy really. It’s just ‘Pack it in, pack it in.’
“So, he’s hungrier than ever; he’s got a huge task on his hands,” continued Hearn about what Joshua is up against in facing Usyk in the rematch. “I hope people support him because he’s going for it again, and I promise you, he will do much, much, much better than that first attempt.
“The rematch is much bigger than the first fight,” said Hearn about the Joshua vs. Usyk II fight. “Although Usyk, to you and me, is a pound-for-pound God, he’s still building that international profile, which has gone through the absolute roof. Now you got two titans [Joshua and Usyk] that everybody knows.
“So, the rematch is huge. Sky has been a great partner. DAZN will be chomping at the bit to get that rematch and other broadcasters as well. We [Team Joshua] have a lot on our plate on how to improve and how to win the rematch.
“AJ against Deontay Wilder? No, he’ll rematch Usyk,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua would fight Tyson Fury if he loses to Deontay Wilder on October 9th. “AJ can fight Fury at any moment. I wish they’d have done it for the undisputed, but it’s done for now,” Hearn said.
Can you blame fans for writing off Joshua? With the way Joshua got schooled by Usyk last Saturday, it’s understandable why boxing fans are saying it’s over with for AJ.
I mean, that Joshua’s second defeat in his last four fights since 2019, and he’s stubbornly heading for a third defeat when he battles Usyk in a rematch in early 2022.
If Joshua loses that fight, which Charles Brun believes he will, his record for his last five fights will be 2-3.
Heck, that’s a journeyman-level record, isn’t it? In the last two years, Joshua’s only two wins were against an out-of-shape 283-lb Andy Ruiz Jr. and 40-year-old over-the-hill Kubrat Pulev.
Hearn can stick his head in the sand and deny the reality of where Joshua’s career is at this point, but the fact is, he’s pretty much a shot fighter.
The knockout loss to Ruiz Jr. took something from Joshua mentally and physically, as he’s been a shell of his former self ever since.
Hearn: Fury vs. Wilder III MUST fight Whyte next
In my opinion, those two will always fight, but the winner of that fight [Fury vs. Wilder III] has got to fight Dillian Whyte. So, that’s our focus,” said Hearn.
“Although Dillian Whyte isn’t really like that would have wanted AJ to win on Saturday night, I know that for a fact, it’s actually worked well in his favor because now there’s no argument that he won’t be presented as the mandatory challenger for the winner of that fight [Fury vs. Wilder 3]. The legal case is ongoing with that.
“The only thing really that was standing in the way of that decision [Whyte being made WBC mandatory] was the undisputed fight [between Joshua and Fury], which is just not happening.
“So, Dillian Whyte, probably not thinking it at the time, that’s benefited him [last] Saturday night because there is absolutely no way that he cannot be called as a mandatory challenger to the winner of that fight [Fury – Wilder III] with what’s going on behind the scenes.
“It’s very easy now for [WBC president] Mauricio [Sulaiman] and everybody to finally end this argument, you know? Legal situation by saying, ‘Yes, the winner of Fury against Wilder, Dillian Whyte is the mandatory. And so the winner of Wilder-Fury will fight Dillian Whyte, AJ will fight Usyk, and then hopefully we still get an undisputed fight.
“It could be Dillian against AJ; who knows? The good news for the heavyweight division is the gutter of ‘we don’t get AJ vs. Fury for the undisputed,’ we got some great fights coming up still,” said Hearn.
There’s a good chance Dillian Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) will finally get his title shot against the WBC belt-holder. Goodness knows, Whyte has been complaining about wanting a title shot for years but then shooting himself in the foot by choosing not to fight in WBC-ordered eliminators against Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz.
It’ll be good for Whyte to finally get his title shot that he’s been pining away for, but it’s doubtful that he’ll beat Fury or Wilder. Those guys would take advantage of Whyte’s nonexistent defense and his weak chin.
Whyte was knocked out by a shot 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin and beaten to a near pulp by 40-year-old Mariusz Wach, which showed his level.
Sorry, you can’t count Whyte’s win over Povetkin in their rematch last March because the Russian fighter was coming off a bad case of COVID-19 in late last year. Povetkin shouldn’t have been in the ring fighting ANYBODY, let alone a top-five guy like Whyte.
Big fights ahead
“That was a great fight [between Joshua and Usyk]. I know it wasn’t a toe-to-toe battle, but it was a really high-level heavyweight fight.
“Also, you’ve got Fury-Wilder, then you’ve got Fury-Whyte after that or Wilder-Whyte, and then you’ve got AJ against Usyk again.
“So this is all over a period of six months, and you’ve got Whyte-Wallin, which now becomes more important than ever, and that’s a banana skin.
“So, good times for the heavyweight division. Just, hopefully, we get a few W’s,” said Hearn.
Things could go badly for Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, with Joshua suffering another defeat against Usyk and Dillian Whyte going down in flames against the winner of Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III.
On the bright side, Hearn can always set up a losers bracket with Joshua facing Whyte, which would put a big smile on Dillian’s face. He’s been chomping at the bit for a rematch with Joshua since he lost by a seventh round knockout in 2015.
It’s going to be interesting to see which heavyweight is the last man standing when the smoke clears after 2022.
Charles Brun believes there’s a chance that the 6’7″ Deontay could be the guy holding all four belts by the end of 2022, and that would be a shock to a lot of boxing fans.
Hearn isn’t ready to entertain the idea that Joshua’s career could be effectively over with next year. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Usyk defeats Joshua in their rematch next February or March.
From there, Joshua will likely fight for the WBC heavyweight world title against Wilder, Fury, or Whyte, even though he wouldn’t rate a title at that point.
If Joshua loses to whoever has the WBC belt, that would be three consecutive losses for AJ. It would be academic at that point that Joshua’s career would be effectively over.
The question is, will Joshua choose to plug on after three straight losses? My guess is NO, and the pride of Joshua will lead him to call it a day.
At the very least, Joshua will get desperate and finally throw his trainer Rob McCracken overboard in hopes of saving his sinking ship.
- Bob Arum says Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk possible for March in Saudi Arabia
- Eddie Hearn confirms Joshua step aside conversations started to allow Fury vs. Usyk next
- Floyd Mayweather on Joshua losing to Usyk: ‘That was NOT an upset’
- Tyson Fury’s team working on step aside for Anthony Joshua