A victorious Oleksandr Usyk feels that Anthony Joshua will be an improved fighter in a rematch, but hopes their second meeting takes place in front of his home fans in Ukraine.
Acclaimed ‘Road Warrior’ Usyk earned his 11th victory away from his homeland with a masterclass over WBA Super, WBO and IBF heavyweight king Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night.
Former champion Joshua seems almost certain to invoke an immediate rematch clause after his conclusive points defeat, but Usyk wishes that fight can take place back in his native Ukraine, where he hasn’t fought since December 2015.
“I like challenges, but since we have the rematch clause in our contract, Anthony Joshua is our next opponent,” said Usyk in the post-fight press conference. “I would love to have the rematch in the Olympiyskiy Stadium in Kiev.
“[Joshua is] a true warrior. He’s a fighter. He’ll improve his skills. I can’t really say whether he will [invoke the rematch] or not, but I think he probably will.”
The new heavyweight king sailed close to halting Joshua in the dying embers of Saturday’s fight and stunned the Briton on several occasions, but had previously been warned by his corner to stick to his fundamentals and not load up seeking a stoppage.
“I tried a few times [for the stoppage]. I put my speed into it. I punched him a couple of times, but then I was losing my rhythm,” said Usyk. “My corner was saying, ‘Hey, you’re trying to knock him down. You have to do your work. You have to throw your jab because if you concentrate on knocking him out, you’re going to lose your rhythm’.”
Main image: Ian Walton/Matchroom Boxing.