Joshua on Usyk’s defeat: ‘I thought I was winning and boxing like Ali’


Former two-time heavyweight champion Briton Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) believes that he lost in September in London (England) to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) only because a real a mess – the coaches tried to shout each other down.

On August 20, the Briton will have a chance to prove his words with deeds – to meet the Ukrainian in a rematch in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). All the same WBA Super, IBF and WBO titles are at stake. On the eve of the second fight, Joshua hired top coach from the United States Robert Garcia, and immediately after the defeat, Usyk parted ways with mentor Rob McCracken, with whom he had worked since the time of the British national team.

“I had a lot of unnecessary fuss in the corner, and it didn’t help,”
fighter remembers. What is a boxer’s angle? It’s like a pit stop in racing. And if everyone in your corner is trying to shout each other down, then expect trouble. In the last rounds, when they had to push me to the limit, say something like “now go and knock this motherfucker, otherwise we will f*ck the fight”, I was told phrases like “hot! more double jab. Add right straight and left hook”. The whole truth is that from the side it is always more visible. And sometimes the coach just has to explain to his fighter that he is close to losing in a title fight.

Joshua claims that at that moment it seemed to him that he was in control of the fight: “I swear, I was sure of it. I felt like I was boxing like Muhammad Ali. No, I don’t want to blame anyone for my defeat. But I didn’t really realize that I was losing the fight. I felt like I was doing everything right. It’s for this reason that when the ring announcer announced Usyk as the winner, I reacted in the style of “what the f*ck?”

One of the coaches of the British Joby Clayton constantly told the fighter: “Dude, you box like a god! You are doing a beautiful job. You dominate. You are in control of the fight.”

On the eve of the rematch, Joshua wants to return to his roots: “Before, my trump card was power. But I always aspired to be more of a “pure boxer”. Well, you know, hit and don’t get hit back. I think that this is how you need to box if you are counting on a long and successful career. A good defense is needed, but I have moved too far away from the ferocity due to which I carried people out of the ring. To be honest, I miss those days when I crushed people, smashed their faces. Yes, I would like to return to this … “

Yesterday, a top coach shared an interesting analysis of this fight. And the newly-minted mentor Joshua Garcia talked about Usyk “out of shape” and the tactics of the ward for revenge. A little earlier, he honestly admitted: We do not know what the Ukrainian will do in the ring.

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