Oleksandr Usyk boxed beautifully at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, winning 117-
112, 116-112, 115-113 on the judge’s scorecards to take AJ’s WBA, WBO and IBF
heavyweight titles. The Ukrainian sensation finished the fight putting AJ under
enormous pressure and had the Briton rocked on the final bell.
AJ suffered a suspected damaged eye socket in the brutal defeat,
and failed to make use of his 18lb weight advantage over former cruiserweight
king Oleksandr Usyk, who landed a barrage of heavy southpaw shots throughout
the bout By the 10th round of a thrilling contest, AJ had a visible black and swollen
eye as Usyk took control of the bout.
Joshua was promptly escorted from the ring and taken to the hospital for tests.
Hearn said afterward: “He will go to the hospital.
“I don’t know if he has broken his eye socket, it doesn’t look great.”
“He said he couldn’t see after the ninth round, obviously he was getting tagged a
lot as well.
“His power looked like it had left him, the tank was empty and it was only heart
which kept him on his feet in the 12th round.”
Hearn also said AJ would have a mandatory rematch and the Brit felt he already knew
how he could beat Usyk next time around.
Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He is already talking about the rematch now.
“The first thing he said was ‘I know I can beat him, I know exactly what I have to do’.
“(He said that) back in the changing room just now. You talk about the rematch, but
doing it is something very different.”
“Knowing AJ, knowing the position he is in, knowing that he will have a shot to get
his belts back, there is absolutely nothing else he will do other than a rematch.”
Joshua later posted on Instagram: “Keep positive even if the world’s crumbling in
front of you! “London I love you & thank you each and every time!”
British former super-middleweight champion Carl Froch was a pundit for the fight
and said the damage to AJ’s face looked significant but not serious.
Froch added he felt AJ had shown “too much respect” to Usyk whose head movement
and ring craft were the key factors as Usyk claimed AJ’s heavyweight WBA, IBF and
Joshua ended the fight pinned to the ropes by a flurry of punches from Usyk who said
afterwards he felt he could have knocked his opponent out.
The result is the latest obstacle to AJ finally facing fellow Brit Tyson Fury in a fight
the boxing world have long wanted to see.
That showdown had already been derailed because the Gypsy King now has to fight
American Deontay Wilder for a third time on October 9.