Anthony Joshua has reflected on his two fights with Oleksandr Usyk, believing that the rematch was there to win until the championship rounds.
The pair fought in 2021 and 2022, with Usyk winning Joshua’s belts the first time via unanimous decision and retaining them in the rematch with a split decision.
‘AJ’ took the second loss particularly hard, struggling to deal with his emotions in the ring after the result was announced. It was, perhaps, because he felt that he came so close to besting the elite Ukrainian.
After saying his first performance was ‘not good at all’, Joshua said the rematch was a bit better but not good enough. He told ID Boxing that the loss lay in the final rounds.
“It just showed me that there’s another level that we’ve got to go to, which is gonna be tough”
“I feel like I lost it in the later rounds. In the last two to three rounds I threw it away. That’s my opinion. But I got beat by the better man. He’s a really talented fighter. Really good.”
‘AJ’ then made it clear that he would take a third fight with Usyk if the opportunity arose, although he seems aware that the Ukrainian’s campaign is nearing its end and those final plans likely don’t involve running it back once more.
The former unified champion now watches as the division’s current top two move towards an undisputed bout. Usyk is reportedly close to a deal with Tyson Fury to face off on April 29.
As for Joshua, he’s forced to climb the heavyweight ladder again, starting with Jermaine Franklin on April 1. A win there will have him looking towards another fight in summer, with Dillian Whyte mentioned as a potential opponent.