Anthony Joshua ‘sulking’ after ‘wrong game plan’ cost him against Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua ready to do 'it all again' after Usyk loss

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Anthony Joshua is sulking after implementing the wrong game plan for his loss to Oleksandr Usyk, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles to the Ukrainian after suffering the second loss of his career last month.

Usyk – now a two-division champion – dethroned the Brit in front of 65,000 fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as the former undisputed cruiserweight champion comfortably outclassed Joshua.

Usyk stunned the defending champion on a number of occasions as he was simply too fast – and too good – for the 31-year-old, landing a number of impressing hits to win unanimously on points. 

Joshua experienced moments of success throughout the fight, but they were fleeting and he could not shift the momentum as Usyk overwhelmed him, almost knocking the Watford-born star out in the final round.

The scorecards – which read 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 – were all in favour of the challenger, and Joshua met the news of his defeat with a simple shrug of his shoulders.

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Hearn said Joshua was still feeling down about his defeat to Usyk. 

“I think AJ is humble in defeat, he feels a responsibility to act like that – it couldn’t be further away from reality,” Hearn told talkSPORT.

“Actually, I’d like him to lose some of that humbleness sometimes. 

“But he’s sulking. That’s the reality – I’ve been with him a couple of times and he’s fixated with the mistakes he made.

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“He’s frustrated, he’s disappointed, he’s gutted. All he can think about is how he can improve.” 

Hearn praised Usyk’s performance in north London and suggested the Ukrainian is on the same level as Canelo Alvarez, considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. 

“[Joshua] got the game plan wrong, he didn’t box great, was his preparation good enough? Again, you have to look at Usyk as well, he was brilliant,” added the Matchroom boss. 

“People are now saying Usyk is pound-for-pound number one, it’s either Usyk or Canelo – so you’ve just lost a decision to a pound-for-pound great.

“Don’t beat yourself up but the frustrating thing is we know he can do so much better, and the rematch that he will go into is a real tough fight but he wouldn’t want it any other way. 

“AJ is fixated with looking at greats of the past, they’ve all suffered defeats and have all come back.

“He’s a two-time heavyweight champion, now looks to be a three-match. He should be applauded for taking on the challenge of Usyk because no one really wants to fight him but he believed he could beat him. 

“He got it wrong on the night but also he got beaten by the better man and what was a genius performance.”

Joshua is expected to trigger his rematch clause and face Usyk to try and reclaim his world heavyweight titles in early-2022. 

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