Anthony Joshua has admitted that he’s finding it challenging to bounce back from his latest loss to Oleksandr Usyk.
The heavyweight from Watford lost his WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO belts to the Ukrainian in 2021, and was unsuccessful in the immediate rematch that followed a year later.
The split decision defeat had a profound effect on the British superstar, who had a much-discussed emotional outburst in the ring afterwards. Now in comeback mode, ‘AJ’ told 258 Management that being away from the world titles is a new beginning.
“I lost a fight this year which took me out of the championship title race. So when you’re constantly fighting for championships after championships you’re constantly in the race for a long time.
When I lost, I was finally out of the race and overcoming that was a new beginning, something I’ve been used to, being in the title race for seven years and then finally realising that this isn’t my norm anymore. It’s challenging to overcome that.”
Overcome it is what he intends to do, though. The Olympic Gold Medalist is embracing the challenge of being out of the title picture for the first time since his win over Charles Martin, eight years ago.
“I’ve always been a competitor, a challenge to me is just another obstacle that I can get over, and for some, I feel like it’s easier to knock them down and keep them down.
But as a competitor, it’s just something that you look at as another challenge that I can overcome. It’s going to take work, being in that race I’m used to being in that competitor’s mindset, but I’m overcoming it for sure.”
For ‘AJ’, he believes keeping fit and consistent is key to working his way towards becoming three-time heavyweight champion. To do so, fans will believe that he needs to fight three times in the new year – something he hasn’t done since 2016.
Since 2020, he’s fought just once per year – often not his own fault – which in today’s boxing landscape, whilst frustrating, might be okay for a champion. Now, as challenger, that won’t wash.