Anthony Joshua falls by split decision in Oleksandr Usyk rematch
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Anthony Joshua has not been deterred by losing to Oleksandr Usyk for a second time. The Watford powerhouse has announced that he will fight again following his split decision defeat to the Ukrainian at the King Abdullah Arena in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
AJ showed a marked improvement from his inaugural encounter with Usyk 11 months ago but was ultimately outwitted by his tricky adversary. Targeted bodywork and improved pacing provided the Brit with portions of success yet in the end the scorecards read 115-113, 113-115, and 116-112 in favour of ‘The Cat’.
Speaking after the fight at his post-fight press conference, Joshua told the assembled media that this would not be the last time he would fight for their entertainment.
“I’m a fighter for life, the hunger never dies,” he said. “I want to get back out in November or December. I will become a three-time world heavyweight champion.”
In a similar vein, his promoter Eddie Hearn spoke chiefly about the need for activity.
“What I want to see is I want to see him happy, and I think what we want to see is we want to see him be active. Too many stadium fights,” Hearn said before rattling off a list of Joshua’s most recent opponents.
Hearn then began to take aim at Tyson Fury’s previous foes and the ‘soft touches’ that many of the divisions best choose to fight.
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He continued: “That is the run that Anthony Joshua has been on. No Tom Schwarz, no Sefer Seferi. At the end of the day, you’ve had to step up and carry the sport in our country. It’s true, we’ve joked before you said ‘corr, I have to have all these tough fights’.
“You saw people have these easy fights, you never had them, you never wanted them because you want to create a résumé because you’re a fighter, you’re a winner, you wanted to fight the elite. You fought the pound-for-pound back-to-back. At Tottenham, you lost. Tonight, you lost a split decision to the best fighter in the sport.
“Everybody else would have vacated their WBO belt before the Tottenham fight so I will say because people take easy touches, fans moan about fighters ducking fights, taking easy touches, he’s never taken an easy touch and we should be very proud of him.”
Joshua will now look to return to the ring in the next year. Both Hearn and AJ have spoken about a December date but whether or not he will step between the ropes so soon remains to be seen. Among the possible next opponents are Dillian Whyte and Deontay Wilder.
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