Adebayo Adenrele

Anthony Joshua has described the unified heavyweight titles holder, Oleksandr Uysk, as the heavyweight champion of the world, following his second loss to the Ukrainian in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

In a clash billed as “the Rage on the Red Sea”, AJ, 32, displayed a pedigree of aggressiveness and intent – a vast improvement from their first fight – but could not match the ring savviness of the Uysk.

Two judges scored the fight 115-113 and 116-112 to Usyk, while a third judge gave it 115-113 to Anthony Joshua and Uysk won on a split decision.

NEWSTODAYNG recalled that Joshua suffers back-to-back defeats to Usyk, with the Ukrainian retaining the WBA (Super), WBO and IBF titles he claimed from AJ in London, in September, 2021.

At the end of the fight, AJ picked up two of Usyk’s belts, dropped them on the floor and strode towards the dressing room, before turning round and getting back into the ring.

In his words, “Usyk is one hell of a fighter. That’s just emotion,”

“If you knew my story, you’d understand the passion. I’m not an amateur boxer. I was going to jail and I got bailed and I started training.”

“It shows the passion we put into this. For this guy to beat me tonight, it shows the levels of hard work he must have put in, so please give him a round of applause as heavyweight champion of world.”

“They said that I’m not a 12-round fighter. I ain’t 14 stone, I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy. It’s hard work. This guy here is phenomenal.”

Anthony Joshua had success in the fight – and enjoyed his best round in the ninth, charging Usyk down and unlading a flurry of punches.

AJ in the 9th round

However, Usyk came back fighting in the 10th round and was landing clean blow after blow. He landed a five-punch combination, and made Joshua a sitting duck.

AJ in the mud in the 10th round

Joshua fatigued and Usyk took full advantage in the championship rounds.