Tearful Joshua explains outburst after losing again to Usyk
• One judge was emphatic AJ won
• Hearn hints former champion will fight again this year
Anthony Joshua broke down in tears as he spoke to the media in an emotional post-show press conference that also saw him explain why he stormed out of the ring.
On Saturday night, Joshua, 32, lost his rematch with the undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, 35 in Saudi Arabia following a split decision that ruled in favour of the latter.
With Usyk retaining his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles, the ruling stopped any plans for Joshua to face Tyson Fury in their tracks, and shortly after, he exited the ring and took to the microphone to share his frustrations. Now, a post-show press conference has seen Joshua holding back tears as he shared his thoughts on the matter, explaining that his comments were ‘from the heart.’
Joshua was asked if he was proud of himself, which prompted an emotional response. “It’s really really hard for me to say I’m proud of myself. I don’t feel anything.” It was here where emotion took over and Joshua’s Promoter Eddie Hearn continued to speak on behalf of his client.
Joshua’s impromptu and impassioned speech led many online to believe that the fighter could have been concussed due to its out-of-character nature. However, others were quick to point out that he was clearly ‘exhausted and emotional.’
While, two of the judges in the fight thought Usyk won the 12-round encounter, one of the judges was emphatic that Joshua deserved to be announced as the winner.
Usyk deservedly won the rematch in Saudi Arabia on the judges’ scorecards, although the fact it was a split decision surprised many. While one of the judges gave the Ukrainian the verdict 115-113 and another scored it 116-112, judge Glenn Feldman scored the contest in favour of Joshua by two points (113-115). If that wasn’t shocking enough, Feldman’s scorecard also showed that he gave the British fighter the first three rounds of the contest, despite the clear consensus among boxing fans that he had lost them.
Speaking after he was declared winner, Usyk said: “I did this victory for my country, for all people defending the country. Thank you very, very much. I’m sure Fury is not retired yet. I’m sure; I’m convinced he wants to fight me. I want to fight him, and if I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.”
Meanwhile, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has insisted that his ward will fight on despite his second consecutive loss to Usyk.
Joshua fought much better in the rematch than he did against Usyk last September but ultimately slumped to a split decision defeat.
Ahead of the fight, former WBO cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson suggested Joshua could retire from the sport if he lost again, annoying Hearn with his comments. Hearn even suggested that his star client could return to the ring later this year against former WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder or long-time rival, Dillian Whyte.
In the immediate aftermath of Usyk vs Joshua 2, Wilder took to social media to claim Hearn had already been in touch about a potential fight with AJ. This seems unlikely as the American is already booked to face Robert Helenius on October 15, at the Barclays Center in New York. However, a fight with Whyte could easily be made since they share the same promoter, are both coming off losses, and are not currently linked to any other opponents.