Anthony Joshua was devastated after his second straight loss to Oleksandr Usyk in less than a year. The Ukrainian fighter beat the Brit on split points (115:113, 116:112, 113:115) in a fight in Saudi Arabia.
And while after his victory, Usyk focused on supporting his country and compatriots at a difficult time for Ukraine, AJ was unable to swallow the loss.
After hearing the judges’ decision, he went berserk and threw two of the championship belts to the floor, then defiantly left the ring and started to go home, despite his staff furiously trying to stop him. Already almost out of the hall, Joshua clearly realized his inappropriate behavior and returned to congratulate the champion.
“If you know my story, you’ll understand why I’m so excited. I didn’t start out in boxing as an amateur who was a big talent from a young age. I was in jail, out on bail and busting my ass from training. I wanted to be able to fight. I’m stealing from Usyk’s time at the moment and I’m sorry, but it’s because of the passion I put in. He beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but I put in a lot of effort.
Let’s hear some cheers for the new World Heavyweight Champion! I’m not a 12-round boxer, I’m a new breed of heavyweight boxer. Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, they don’t do Rocky Marciano combos. I’m like a stone, I’m heavy, I work hard. This guy is a phenomenal talent, let’s give him three shouts,” added the Briton.
At the official press conference afterward, Joshua was still overcome with emotion. Asked how he was taking the loss, he tried to answer but broke down in tears instead. It took him a few minutes to calm down, during which time he buried his head in his hands and hid under the visor of his baseball cap.