If you didn’t get to watch it or haven’t yet seen the headlines, Anthony Joshua lost his rematch bout against Uysk, and he wasn’t precisely humble in defeat. Joshua did perform excellently, proving again he is more than capable of going head-to-head with a world-class athlete, but unfortunately for him, Uysk is a cut above.
In the ninth round, when Usyk was put under siege by a barrage of solid body blows, Joshua had his best fight moment.
The official scorecards caused a lot of controversy as the American referee Glenn Feldman gave the nod to the two-time world champion with a score of 115–113, while Viktor Fesechko and Steve Gray both gave the nod to Usyk with scores of 116–112 and 115–113, respectively.
Who is Anthony Joshua?
Anthony Joshua Stats
Record: 27 fights, 24 wins
If you have been living under a rock for the last decade, Anthony Joshua is a British professional heavyweight boxer from Watford, born on 15th October 1989.
He rose to fame after winning the gold medal in the boxing super-heavyweight class in the 2012 Olympics. Joshua then turned pro and has become a heavyweight champion of the world since 2016 when he dethroned Charles Martin of his IBF title.
He gained 3 of the major championship belts before losing them to Usyk in 2021 but couldn’t reclaim them in their rematch in August 2022.
In Joshua’s early career, he was loved by almost everyone; he was the heavyweight champion we had all wanted for a long time. With that, Joshua had a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder
When Joshua beat Joseph Parker in 2018 to gain 3 of the major boxing championship belts, it only left him to win the WBC belt to go down in history and become the undisputed champion. However, that meant facing one of the biggest punchers in boxing history, Deontay Wilder.
When they were younger and participated in the Olympics, they traveled a similar route to winning world championships. The 22-year-old Wilder represented America in the amateur “heavyweight” division at Beijing 2008.
A 22-year-old AJ represented the home country in London’s amateur “super-heavyweight” division in 2012, ten years ago.
Wilder competed in the class below Joshua since the amateur “super-heavyweight” division corresponds to the professional heavyweights and the amateur “heavyweight” division to the professional cruiserweights.
Joshua’s manager Eddie Hearn publicly teased the fans with a showdown with Deontay Wilder but always blamed the American team for not playing ball to finalise a deal. As Hearn lined Joshua up with his fights, he could see the longevity in his career and risking his championship belts early could only ruin his potential legacy.
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury was banned for doping in 2016 and was inactive; the Joshua team knew they held all the cards and cleverly picked suitable opponents until they were ready for the undisputed. However, that plan backfired as they didn’t realise that Fury was planning a comeback and challenged Wilder to fight in December 2018.
Fury, weighing almost 30 Stone and recovering from depression, most people wrote him off and thought the fight would only go one way. However, the boxing purists knew what Fury was capable of, and it was set to be a fight to be remembered.
The fight lasted, with Fury getting up off the canvas in the last round, and the judges gave it a draw. This is when it is just for Joshua to be out of the limelight as everyone, including both fighters, wanted a rematch to see who is the WBC champion.
Yet, in the 2nd fight, Fury won to become the new WBC champion. And just when everyone thought it was done and dusted, Wilder activated a rematch clause, resulting in a third fight needing to take place. Meanwhile, Joshua, also a champion, was looking to remain active to prevent being stripped of his belts.
Anthony Joshua’s First International Fight: Andy Ruiz
In June 2019, Anthony Joshua had his first international fight in Madison Square Garden against Andy Ruiz. Joshua dropped Ruiz in the third round. He got back up, and Joshua looked to finish the fight in that round, throwing his heavy shots. Ruiz being dropped saw red and was firing on all cylinders himself, exchanging shots back.
Ruiz rocks Joshua and knocks him down, and Ruiz manages to knock Joshua out in the 7th round. They scheduled a rematch almost instantly, only this time it was in Saudi Arabia. Many thought the same would happen to Joshua as images of a ripped Ruiz were emerging online.
However, they must have been old photos as the Mexican weighed heavier than ever. Joshua outpointed Ruiz to become a two-time heavyweight champion. Joshua then beat Pulev before meeting the undisputed Cruiserweight champion Uysk.
Uysk beat Joshua in a points victory to become the new heavyweight champion. As Joshua was the champion, committees decided to put a rematch clause in place to allow him to win back his belts. So they had a rematch in August 2022, and Joshua needed to win.
However, Uysk boxes perfectly, a southpaw with flawless footwork and head movement. Joshua did his best against a formidable opponent, but his size and power weren’t enough to put Uysk away. After the fight, Joshua lost his rag, threw the belts out of the ring and took the mic to make a speech. Not accepting the loss, he approached Uysk asking how he could beat him.
Watch the epic 3rd round of Joshua vs Ruiz below:
Anthony Joshua and Black Lives Matter
During the Black Lives Matter protests, Joshua made a speech in London.
The heavyweight world champion addressed the crowd in a park after marching through the streets of his hometown and reading a poem written by a fellow local and friend.
Joshua, 30, stated in a speech that Joshua posted on his official Instagram account:
“We can no longer sit back and remain silent on these senseless, unlawful killings and sly racism on another human being – based on what? Only their skin colour.
“We need to speak out in peaceful demonstrations – just like today, so well done, Watford.
“We stand united against a virus which has been instrumental in taking lives of the young, old, rich, poor; a virus which is unapologetic and spreads across all sectors.”
However, Tyson Fury has expressed criticism of this speech, suggesting that “I’m sure he’s apologised if he’s offended anybody — oh he didn’t, did he,” Fury said. “He said if you didn’t like what I said, go f— yourself. So no apology is necessary. Let’s say, I’m not pushing knives in or pushing anybody when they’re down, but if it had been me who said it, ‘Don’t shop in any black-owned stores or any Asian owned stores’ or anything, or don’t buy from their businesses, then I’d have been crucified like Jesus Christ. I’ll say that.”
Hearn maintains that he does not understand all of the criticism directed at AJ. Still, he does concede that if the statement had been delivered by the Brit, who this week agreed to a two-fight contract with his countryman Tyson Fury, it might have been worded differently.
No matter the opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement, Joshua’s speech was powerful and evoked storing emotions in those who listened to it.
Did Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn mess up the undisputed?
Joshua is no longer the champion; it is improbable he will have the opportunity to become an undisputed champion. Uysk now could face Fury for the undisputed championship, and if Uysk wins, he will go down in history as both a cruiserweight and undisputed heavyweight champion.
After the Ukrainian retained his titles against Anthony Joshua, Lennox Lewis called for a fight between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury to become the world’s best boxer.
The last undisputed heavyweight champion, a British great, spoke out following Usyk and Joshua’s rematch in Saudi Arabia.
Lewis, 56, also thinks that Usyk and “The Gypsy King” Fury, the WBC champion and the other contender in the weight class, should square off in front of the crowd.
Lewis posted on Twitter after the altercation: “Hey Tyson Fury & Oleksandr Usyk, can we finally give the fans an UNDISPUTED HW Champion Fight?”
“19 years is a long time, and fans deserve it! Let’s get it cracking!”
Lewis also praised Joshua for the fight against Usyk. With Joshua’s new coach Robert Garcia in the corner for the first time, Lewis’ praise of Joshua for his performance seemed to end their long-running dispute.
Following rumours of a potential partnership between the two after Joshua’s Olympic success in 2012, the friendship soured when Lewis alleged that the now-32-year-old was simply interested in making money, despite Joshua’s previous description of Lewis as “a clown.”
What is the next Anthony Joshua fight?
Joshua’s decision is still far from certain, and AJ hasn’t even begun to form his own opinion at this time, so that no one can predict it with any degree of certainty. Eddie Hearn purposefully avoided discussing what AJ would do if he lost before the Usyk comeback because, in his opinion, his guy would exact revenge. Hearn did, however, state that retiring is not an option. Hearn claimed that Joshua “loves boxing” too much for that.
However, for Anthony Joshua to keep in the ranks and give a big ticket-selling fight, a fight with Deontay Wilder would be great. Two past champions engaged in a true punching match while displaying equal pride and ambition. Fans would undoubtedly pay to watch this.
Could Tyson Fury return and take on Joshua again? Stranger things have happened, but Fury vs Usyk is the matchup everyone wants to see next.
Joshua may take a break and then return to the ring against Dillian Whyte, the winner of Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker, or perhaps Andy Ruiz in a trilogy bout if Ruiz defeats Luis Ortiz next month.
Hearn told talkSPORT: “People talk in this build-up about him retiring; I don’t think when you lose a split decision, why would you even contemplate it? It’s about passion and if you still want it.
“You see how much we wanted it by his post-fight interview. I’d like to see him back out, maybe even in late December. There are massive fights for him.
“Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder, so many guys at the top and even some British fighters coming through. But we have to see what he wants to do ultimately. It’ll be a tough defeat, but he will be back.”
Again, though, we’ll have to wait and see. Joshua might decide against continuing the fight after realising he is not the best of the best. The blow to his ego might be too much for him to handle. Joshua might also return stronger and much more motivated- who knows? We’ll have to wait and see.
Hopefully, it is not the end of the road for Anthony Joshua. He has been a great boxer, role model and ambassador of the sport. He is undoubtedly responsible for the vast popularity back in boxing.
We wish him all the best.
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