Joshua insisting on Usyk rematch
By Charles Brun: IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua suffered a disappointing 12 round unanimous decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night, and he’s saying he wants a rematch next.
After the scores were announced for the Joshua-Usyk fight, the Tottenham Stadium in London became deathly quiet.
Collectively, the fans seemed to be in utter shock at seeing their hero Joshua go down to defeat against the much smaller and weaker Usyk. This wasn’t supposed to happen.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) will start training on Monday to fix the mistakes he made in his loss tonight against WBO mandatory Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).
Joshua doing a good whitewash job
Interestingly, rather than Joshua admit that he wasn’t good enough, he’s blaming his loss to Usyk on his right eye closing up in the ninth.
AJ says he couldn’t see out of that eye, which resulted in him not fighting the way he had been before the injury.
Joshua blaming his eye problem on why he lost tonight sounded a classic case of a fighter trying to whitewash the results.
Whether Joshua feels that he needs to blame defeat on his eye so he wouldn’t take a massive ego-hit is unclear, but Charles Brun believes that’s the case. Joshua was in the damage control mode at the post-fight press conference, sounding like he was in total denial.
If Joshua looked in the mirror and faced the truth of what happened tonight, it might be too much for him to take.
AJ wants to start training Monday
“Well done to the winner, and we’ll be back again,” said Joshua at the post-fight press conference after losing to Usyk. “I’ll get back in training.
“A great 12 rounds. A great experience in the ring, and we’ll be doing it all again real soon. What went wrong? Just taking a loss, but we’ll get it right.
“I couldn’t see in the ninth round; I couldn’t see anything, really. My eye was shut. It was the first time I couldn’t see in a fight. It got better as the rounds went on, a good pace, and we’ll be back.
“Because of my training, my lungs, it was a good 12-rounder. I’ll be in a good place when I get back in training and pick up where I left off,” said Joshua.
There’s nothing wrong with Joshua getting back in the gym to work on improving the mistakes he made, but it might be foolish for him to fight Usyk straightaway.
Granted, Joshua fought the wrong fight tonight by electing to box Usyk rather than going after him with his power game.
Joshua would have had a better chance of winning if he’d gone all out, swinging for the fences and fighting like Ike Ibeabutchi used to.
Had Joshua thrown nonstop power punches at Usyk in the first six rounds, chances are he would have knocked him out. AJ should already know how to do that because that’s the way he used to fight before his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2o19.
That defeat seems to have done something to Joshua’s head, damaging him and hurting his game, and it hasn’t made Joshua better.
In Joshua’s three fights since his loss to Ruiz in June 2019, he’s made what should have been easy fights harder for him.
If Joshua had used his old style of bum-rushing his opponents, he would have trampled the overweight Ruiz in their rematch, crushed 40-year-old Kubrat Pulev, and likely stopped Usyk tonight. Instead, Joshua boxed those guys and made the fights hard for him.
Joshua: “I wanted to outbox him”
“He’s got a good pace, but he still gets hit,” said Joshua about Usyk. “He gets hit a lot, and in the rematch, I’ll just learn to hit him more. I’ll be more concussive with my punch selection.
“It’s not so much what he done. It’s the opportunities I gave him. It’s not so much him. I’m going to go back and correct my wrongs.
“It was a good chess match. I wanted to outbox him and do certain things. After that, my eye in the ninth round. It was a great lesson. For me, personally, I’m learning this game.
“I’m studying, I’m learning. Eight rounds, everything was going well, and then in the ninth, a little issue happened in the fight.
“The other fighter [Usyk] starts putting more pressure and picking up the pace.
“He sensed something. I’ll pick up where I left off and come back and try to be better. I’m sure I’ll be better for the next one. Great cardio,” said Joshua about himself.
Had Joshua listened to his promoter Eddie Hearn and all the current fighters that advised against him boxing Usyk, he would have been better off tonight.
It’s weird how Joshua shot himself in the foot by ignoring the helpful advice given to him.
Hearn isn’t a fighter, and he knew ahead of time that Joshua should have gone all out for the knockout of Usyk. Like Charles Brun said, that loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. messed with Joshua’s head something.
Joshua needs someone to sit him down and clue him in on how he needs to be fighting from this point on. He needs to forget the Klitschko junk style that he’s been using lately.
Joshua is wasting his career and his potential by trying to fight as Klitschko did, and he can’t. Klitschko was much lighter on his feet than Joshua, and had a better jab, left hook, right hand, and hand speed.
The way Joshua can beat Usyk is to jump on him by throwing endless combinations and not worrying about the pesky shots that he throws back.
Losing was an opportunity for Joshua
“I’m a different type of fighter. I’m not a sulker,” said Joshua. “This is a blessed opportunity to be able to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world and to fight good fighters time and time again.
“It’s a blessed opportunity. I’m not going to go home tonight and be crying about it because this is war. It’s a long process. It’s not like one fight, and I’m done.
“I’ve got an opportunity to go back to the drawing board. I can’t go back and sulk. That’s wasting time. I’m going back to look for ways that I can improve straightaway.
“I’ve already been watching the fight. ‘Oh, I could have done that better’ in my mind anyway,” said Joshua.
Losing can be an opportunity for Joshua to improve if he stops trying to outbox his opponents, like we’ve been seeing from him in his last three fights. Somehow, I don’t think Joshua can change.
That loss to Ruiz did something to him and wrecked him, basically. Joshua needs an Emanuel Steward type of trainer that would change him back to what he was before the loss to Ruiz.
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