Anthony Joshua: ‘I go bounce back’ and take rematch afta defeat to Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua say im na “different animal, not a sulker” and “go bounce back” from losing im world heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua say “im no fit see well for round nine” afta di eye injury wey e sustain for Saturday 12-round fight wit di Ukrainian for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Im promoter Eddie Hearn suggest di fighter fit don suffer broken eye socket.

“I no fit go back dey cry – dat na waste of time,” Joshua, age 31, tok.

Afta di fight dem ask am about wetin go wrong, di defeated Briton say: “I no fit see for di ninth round, I no fit see anything really because my eye don close.

“Na good experience because in adversity you have to learn to control yourself, stay on top of things, so when I no fit see anything – na di first time e dey happen in a fight.”

Hearn bin tok say Joshua bin give Usyk, age 34, too much respect and e go need to make “fundamental changes” to regain di WBA, WBO and IBF titles wey im lose for di fight.

Di Briton get rematch clause for di contract wit Usyk, and later confirm sey im go take am.

Anthony Joshua wit eye injury for defeat to Alexander Usyk

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“Dis experience today dey invaluable. Dis go get massive benefit for di next fight,” Joshua tok.

Joshua add sey: “As I dey waka back through the tunnel, I just say to myself, ‘I dey ready to return to di gym, I dey ready to just put dat work in’.

“I just wan to get back to di gym, get back on di grind and improve, so wen I fight these good guys and see sey dem don wound I fit capitalise on di opportunity.

“Na great lesson today. I know sey we fit look am from a negative point of view but, for me, I need to take am as a great lesson and build on dat situation.

“No be my style to look di opponent. I just tend to look at myself and realise wia I go wrong. So no be sey im don do much, na di opportunities wey I give am. I go just go back go look myself and correct my wrongs.

“I be different kind of animal. Ino be pesin wey dey cry. Dis na blessed opportunity, to be able to fight for di heavyweight title of di world, fight good fighters time and time again and for people to come out.

“I no go go house go dey cry about wetin happen, because dis na war. Na long process. Dis no be just just one fight and I don finish.

“I dey go back go look how I fit improve, I don dey already watch di fight and thinking ‘I fit do better’.”

Fury fight ‘doubtful’ – Warren

Tyson Fury co-promoter Frank Warren don come dey doubtful over di fight wit Joshua wey dem don wait for long afta a dominant Usyk become di unified heavyweight champion.

“I no dey see am happening now,” Warren tell BBC Sport.

“If e for happen, wetin Tyson for take am do? E no go even reach 12 rounds. Tyson for wound am well-well. Absolutely. Di unification fight dey dia, such a big fight. Heartbreaking.

Warren say Joshua “no get any tactics” and compared Saturday fight wit im June 2019 shock defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr.

“Usyk na good fighter, im box extremely well,” Warren tok.

“But dat na my concern for di fight – Joshua dey weak. Im don dey like dat for long.

“I bin think sey Joshua go dey too big for Usyk, but I know sey e dey dia at di end, den dem go outbox am. Usyk nearly catch am towards di end.”

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn admit say di defeat “surprise” am.

“Im go need to make fundamental changes, im go need to box differently,” Hearn tell BBC Radio 5 Live afta di fight.

“I no see AJ taking a 10-round fight, im dey box only twice a year and maybe dat something we need to consider.

“AS im dey comot di only thing e go dey think na Oleksandr Usyk. e go dey think: ‘How I fit win am, how I fit improve?’ Im dey obsessed wit improving.

“I just feel much Anthony Joshua dey for dat fight but im go need do a lot more for di rematch to be victorious.”


BBC Sport Coral Barry, for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Even for defeat, Joshua na classy fighter.

Wetin we hear be say afta di fight di heavyweight dey go straight to di hospital to treat one bad eye injury. But just as im do wen Andy Ruiz Jr beat am for New York, Joshua tok to tori pipo.

Hours afta di 65,000-plus crowd leave di Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a bruised Joshua sit down and e no make any excuse for im performance. Dis no be something wey pipo dey too see for boxing world to accept defeat by di better fighter.

You no go notice anger as Joshua calmly answer questions about wetin go wrong. E just be like say everything dey okay from di two-time world champion.

Joshua still dey confident, and pipo go need to see how im go overcome dis dark chapter of im career.

Joshua dey able to reinvent himself to beat Ruiz.. But e go be tougher task to do di same to defeat Usyk.