Anthony Joshua has opened up about his recent defeat to Oleksandr Usyk. The Watford powerhouse lost his cool after being defeated by the Ukrainian for a second time on August 20 in Saudi Arabia and was widely criticised for his post-fight conduct.
AJ stormed out of the ring following the official decision and threw down the Ring Magazine and WBA (super) titles before returning to the squared circle to deliver an impassioned speech. Many jumped on Joshua for ‘stealing Usyk’s moment’ and despite a heartfelt apology, the moment is still a tough watch.
Talking about the defeat and the mental torment it brought him, Joshua told DAZN: “You saw after my last fight, I swear it tore me apart. I had so much riding on it, for me, the British fans, the undisputed fight. It just really tore me apart so, from a mental capacity, my close ones are telling me to rest, mentally.
“Physically I am down to ride, I am a warrior, I like this game and I like competing. But, from a mental aspect, I think people have really seen it means a lot.”
Joshua is set to return to the ring in early 2023 after failed negotiations to stage the long-awaited showdown with Tyson Fury. According to promoter Eddie Hearn, Joshua will most likely be back in action in January or February next year.
Hearn has confirmed that Dillian Whyte is the ‘frontrunner’. He faces Jermaine Franklin on November 26 at Wembley Arena. If Franklin manages to upset the odds and defeat The Body Snatcher, then Hearn has promised him the fight, although Otto Wallin is understood to be in contention as an alternative opponent as well.
“I won’t know how I will feel until I am back in there. But the best feeling, that will be good for me, is winning,” Joshua continued.
“That feeling of losing is not nice. Now I know why my son gets so angry when he loses at anything. I never understood it before. Regardless of the belts, the feeling of winning will be amazing again, internally.”