• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Anthony Joshua speaks on Fury’s defeat to Usyk

Joshua-Ronaldo

Anthony Joshua, a two-time former unified world heavyweight champion, is convinced Oleksandr Usyk had beaten Tyson Fury in their undisputed heavyweight bout on Saturday.

Usyk won via split decision in Saudi Arabia, adding the WBC heavyweight belt to the IBF, WBO, and WBA titles he initially took from Joshua in 2021.

Although Fury led on two judges’ scorecards after eight rounds, Usyk’s powerful overhand left in the ninth round and a series of unanswered punches forced Fury to take a standing count.

Despite all three judges scoring the final round in Fury’s favour, it was too late, as Usyk won with scores of 115-112 and 114-113 on two cards.

Joshua, seated ringside alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, watched as Usyk handed Fury the first loss of his professional career in a thrilling fight.

Moments after the final bell, Joshua told TNT Sports that he believed Usyk had won. When asked who he thought was victorious, he immediately replied, “Usyk.” Upon being met with surprise, Joshua responded, “Huh, who do you think?”

In an interview with iFL TV, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn shared Joshua’s perspective: “He [Joshua] thought Usyk won. I asked him, ‘What do you think?’ and he said, ‘Usyk won it easy’. I had it quite close, but he was adamant.”

Hearn added, “I thought Fury boxed fantastically well in the first six rounds and was well on his way to a stoppage or points decision, but Usyk was incredible.”

When asked if Usyk’s win over Fury would affect Joshua’s plans, Hearn replied, “Not really. We want to regain the world heavyweight title, so whoever has it has it. The rematch is a big fight, likely set for October. We have to work on our plans, potentially at Wembley, and see what happens on June 1.”

Joshua is in contention to fight the winner of the June 1 bout between Deontay Wilder and Zhilei Zhang.