ANTHONY Joshua has dismissed suggestions that he is washed up saying that he will bounce back from his defeat to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk last night and reclaim the world title belts he surrendered.
In a development that shocked the sporting world, Joshua, 31, was outclassed by Usyk, 34, at the at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, as the Ukrainian secured a unanimous points victory. With the defeat, Joshua lost the heavyweight World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation belts but he has vowed to regain them.
Making it clear that he will exercise the option of a rematch, Joshua said he not a sulker and will bounce back from his loss. He pointed out that last night, he couldn’t see in round nine after an eye injury and his promoter Eddie Hearn suggested his fighter may have suffered a broken eye socket.
Joshua said: “I couldn’t see in the ninth round because my eye was shut. It was a good experience because in adversity you’ve just got to learn to control yourself, stay on top of things.
“This experience today is invaluable and this will have a massive benefit in the next fight. When I was walking back through the tunnel, I just said to myself, I’m ready to get back to the gym, I’m ready to just put that work in.”
Mr Hearn had said Joshua had given Usyk, 34, too much respect and would have to make fundamental changes to regain the titles he lost in the fight. Joshua has said he is ready to start training immediately, however.
Joshua added: “I just want to get back to the gym, get back on the grind and improve, so when I fight these good guys and see that they are hurt I can capitalise on the opportunity. It was a great lesson today and I know we can look at it from a negative point of view but, for me, I’ve got to take it as a great lesson and build on that situation.
“I never tend to look at the opponent, I just tend to look at myself and realise where I went wrong. So it’s not so much what he done, it’s the opportunities that I gave him. It’s not so much him. I’m just going to go back and look at myself and correct my wrongs.”
“I’m not going to be going home and be crying about it because this is war. It’s a long process. This isn’t just one fight and then I’m done. I’m going back to look at way that I can improve. Straight away, I’ve already been watching the fight and thinking I could’ve done that better.”
Tyson Fury’s co-promoter Frank Warren is now doubtful a long-awaited all-British fight with Joshua will happen after the Usyk victory. Had Joshua won, a major unification fight between Joshua and Fury would have been on the cards.