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Oleksandr Usyk receives hero welcome arriving back in Ukraine

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua

By Allan Fox: Oleksandr Usyk was given a hero’s welcome in arriving back in Ukraine on Monday following his upset of IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua last Saturday night in London, England.

Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) pulled off a tremendous victory in defeating the highly respected champion Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) in front of 70,000 of his faithful fans at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.

Joshua was hurt in the 12th round when Usyk opened up with a salvo of blistering fast shots in the final seconds of the contest.

At the post-fight press conference, Usyk said his trainer had told him to just box and not go for the knockout. But had Usyk done so, there’s a good chance he would have stopped the tired and hurt Joshua in the 11th or 12th round.

Joshua was fighting with an injured right eye, which was almost entirely closed.

As of now, there’s a rematch clause in the contract, but it’s unknown if Joshua and his promoters at Matchroom Boxing will exercise it. Joshua said he might choose to face the winner of the next month’s Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder fight.

AJ says he would take the fight without a title as a challenger to the winner of that fight.

Will Joshua dump the rematch with Usyk?

“Off of that performance, I don’t know where he goes from here?” said Frank Warren to iFL TV on Anthony Joshua after his loss to Usyk.

“There was no devil in him. He wasn’t letting his shots go, and I think he’s become a little bit. I think sometimes, he [Joshua] doesn’t throw the big shots now like he used to.

“That was his big thing. That’s what he did. Against, Klitschko, he went on the floor and got up and came back to fight. Klitschko let him off the hook, but he came back firing. but he’s [Joshua] not done that.

“Even when he had the rematch with Ruiz, in the fourth round, Ruiz caught him with a really good left hook, and he [Joshua] backed off for the rest of the fight, he fought him off the back foot.

“I think that awesome aura of his punch power has disappeared. It certainly didn’t bother Usyk, and without that, I can’t see how he beats Usyk [in the rematch].

“If there’s a rematch, Usyk will fancy it even more. He [Usyk] said his instructions were to box and not try to go for the knockout.

If he [Usyk] had gone for the knockout, I think he would have got it because he wobbled him [Joshua], didn’t he? He wobbled him early on in the fight and did the same in the last round.

“AJ, what is he going to do? Is he going to retire or take the rematch or is he going to dump the rematch and get involved in a big.

“There’s a great domestic situation here at the moment with Tyson [Fury], Joe [Joyce], and with Daniel Dubois,” said Warren.

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