“That real AJ came out for a second” says Kalle Sauerland on Anthony Joshua’s anger after the Usyk fight

By Boxing News - 08/25/2022 - Comments

By Barry Holbrook: Promoter Kalle Sauerland believes boxing fans should give Anthony Joshua a break for his brief meltdown inside the ring following his loss to unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk last Saturday night in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Sauerland says former IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) showed the “real AJ” for a second when he lost his temper after the scores were announced and promptly threw two of Usyk’s prestigious world titles outside of the ring. Joshua then grabbed the mic and went into a long rant that was filled with expletives.

It was pretty clear that Joshua had lost his senses for a moment and was resisting the reality of what had just happened to him. Instead of accepting the loss like a good sport, Joshua went beserk and was furious about what had happened.

It was obvious why Joshua had lost the fight, as he was outworked through most of the rounds, and he ran out of gas in rounds 10, 11 & 12.

Although Joshua had Usyk briefly hurt in the ninth round, the energy that AJ expended while going for the knockout appeared to deplete him.

After that round, the 32-year-old Joshua was fighting on fumes in rounds 10 through 12, and Usyk took full advantage of the situation.

That’s not to say that Usyk didn’t gas out as well, as he looked very tired in the championship rounds, but somehow he was able to keep moving and throwing punches to get the victory. Usyk looked in better condition in the first fight with Joshua and showed more energy.

It’s unclear whether Usyk’s time defending his country had a negative impact on his cardio because he didn’t look like he had the same stamina in the second fight with AJ.

“AJ massively improved. It wasn’t enough. He’ll probably look back after he’s hung them up in many years to come, hopefully, and think a fight in between would have made a big difference because he certainly improved,” said Kalle Sauerland to iFL TV.

“Usyk, for me was a bit flat. It was an amazing performance, but it was flat in terms of how Usyk does things. He’s a very strategic boxer. I’ve promoted him, worked in his camps, and seen him firsthand.

“He’s a guy that really knows the sport. He knows how he hurt Joshua in the first fight, and I’ll put some of the credit down to Joshua, but Usyk didn’t capitalize.

“On that left hook, for example,  which he threw beautifully in the first fight, I didn’t see much of that. I don’t make much of the ninth round. He almost got stopped in the ninth. I’m not buying that for one second. It was an exciting round, but no.

“Actually, I thought AJ was close to stopping him in the first fight rather than the second fight. I don’t think anyone was stopping anyone. It was a fantastic fight and a fantastic fight from AJ as well.

“I think people forget too quickly. I’ve been around the sport since I was born. I’ve seen training camps. They’re horrible places. Give the man a f**** break,” said Sauerland when asked about his thoughts on Joshua’s meltdown after the fight.

“It’s f*** Anthony Joshua. All the money he’s brought into the sport. Fury and Joshua are the reason we’re talking about heavyweight boxing. They’re the reasons journeymen are earning ten times what they were earning four years ago.

“They’re the reason people on High street are talking about boxing. F*** off with picking on Anthony Joshua because he’s a big of a sore loser. Every champion is a sore loser. Some cover it better, and some not.

“I’ve got to say the whole rude boy coming out of him. That’s the spite of AJ. He’s a North London boy. He came out of that moment and showed us a bit of the spite that he shows in the ring. He let us in, and we saw that.

“He came out an apologized. That’s the politically correct thing to do these days Tyson wouldn’t have apologized. He’d have said, ‘F*** off.’

“For me, he didn’t need to apologize. That’s emotion, real emotion. We see AJ on GQ, and every time I buy a bottle of bloody Lucas, I’ve got him looking at me. That’s the AJ we’ve been sold. But there’s a real AJ, and that real AJ came out for a second.

“I don’t mean he’s like that all the time. He’s a lovely man, but we saw a bit of that spite. So what? He wore his heart on his chest for a second. He was devastated.

“People say he’s doing it for the money. Of course, he was doing it for the money, but he showed real emotion. That’s what you want to see. I love it. Yes, was it a bit of a meltdown? Yeah. Do you want to see my meltdowns? F*** me, that was child’s play.

“I would have dropped all four belts and thrown them out of the ring. That’s emotion. That’s what we want to see. That’s why it was headline news the next day.

“We’re not talking about the fight. We’re talking about him dropping the belts out of the ring. This is Anthony Joshua, two-time heavyweight champion of the world.

“Someone give the man a break. He had a meltdown inside the ring. So what? [John] McEnroe used to do it in tennis, smashing his racket. He’s a legend, and so is Anthony Joshua. Relax, chill.

“Yeah, yeah, year, they were Usyk’s belts, so what? He’ll have one of his helpers pick them up. People will say he’s a bad loser. Listen, champions are all bad losers. In the past, when Joshua has lost, he hasn’t shown that side.

“But if you’re not a bad loser, you’ll never be a champion. That’s the facts. I’m not a champion, but I’m still a bad loser. When I’m around my kids playing Monopoly, I can’t lose, I hate it, but we all lose sometimes,” said Sauerland.

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