Anthony Joshua WILL look to avenge losing his heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch as he ‘lives and breathes boxing’, Eddie Hearn says… and fallen heavyweight insists he still wants to face Tyson Fury
Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Anthony Joshua will look to take on Oleksandr Usyk again in a rematch after being outclassed and losing his unified titles in London.
Heavyweight Joshua found himself outfought and outmanoeuvred by a stunning performance from Usyk, and was left battered with a suspected broken eye socket.
But soon after suffering just the second defeat of his career in the ring, Joshua announced his intention to exact revenge, and Hearn insists he is raring to go.
Eddie Hearn has confirmed Anthony Joshua (left) will look to face Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch
‘He will want to go back in that rematch, and he will be the underdog in that fight but he has just been beaten by a pound-for-pound great,’ promoter Hearn said.
‘Joshua lives and breathes boxing, he is already talking about training again and he will be in the gym and ready to get back in again.
‘You can criticise Anthony Joshua, but he has just fought a great and he is fighting the very best, and tonight he came off second best.
Usyk (left) has stripped Joshua of his heavyweight titles after outclassing the home favourite
But promoter Hearn believes that Joshua is already raring to go after coming off second best
‘There is a new unified heavyweight world champion, but there is no point sulking about it and he must go back to the drawing board and rebuild.
‘We will have enough time, the fighter in AJ says he will win the rematch but I had it close before Usyk ran away with it at the end.
‘But he has to make changes and impose his style to win the rematch, or he will lose again.’
Usyk burst out of the traps in the first three rounds, landing a number of heavy blows on his opponent and stunning the 65,000-strong home crowd.
Usyk burst out of the traps in the showdown and dazzled with his speed to triumph on points
Despite losing out on three inches in height and four in reach, it was his superior intelligence during the fight that saw the Ukrainian upset the odds.
In doing so, he became just the third man to become world champion in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions – and Joshua’s focus is firmly back on him.
Usyk was bullish in the build-up to the showdown and reacted coolly after his points victory, even claiming he ‘expected’ the evening to play out like it did.
‘This means a lot for me. The fight went the way I expected it to go,’ Usyk told Sky Sports Box Office.
After beating Joshua, a calm Usyk insisted that the fight played out the way he had expected
‘There were moments when Anthony pushed me hard but it was nothing special. I had no objective to knock him out because my corner pushed me not to do that.
‘In the beginning, I tried to hit him hard, but then I stuck to my job.’
Joshua’s setback looks to have scuppered any hopes of watching the Watford-born superstar squaring off against Tyson Fury, but AJ says the fight may still happen.
‘The road to undisputed and all that stuff, it’s good,’ Joshua said at the post-fight press conference.
Joshua has said he would still fight Tyson Fur (pictured) without his belts despite his defeat
‘As I said, I’ll fight Tyson Fury, Wilder, without the belts.
‘The belts are fun. It’s great, it’s legacy. But with or without the belts, I’ll fight whoever. The road to undisputed is a nice title to have and a nice title to chase.
‘But would you still watch it, without the belts? That’s the main thing – is you’ve got two competitive fighters in the ring from UK soil, that just want to go toe-to-toe.’
Fury is yet to comment on Joshua’s loss, and fights Deontay Wilder next for a third time on October 9 in Las Vegas.