Footage emerging of the final verdict shows Anthony Joshua was surprised he lost to Oleksandr Usyk despite the Ukrainian largely out-boxing him.
Usyk claimed a unanimous decision over Joshua at Tottenham Stadium in London thanks to generous scores reading 115-113 and 116-112. The third of 117-112 was more like it but still a little off on the WBN scorecard.
Joshua probably lost eight or nine of the twelve rounds in total but still managed to look shocked as Usyk ripped his title belts away.
In footage from Ukrainian TV on the night, Joshua gasped as Usyk took the biggest win of his career and a multi-million dollar payday.
Exposed for the second time in his career against the third live opponent he’s faced, Joshua has to go back to the drawing board to try and get anywhere near a far superior boxer in Usyk.
Usyk moved from number twelve to number two on the World Boxing News Pound for Pound Rankings with the win. He’ll go into the second fight as a massive favorite to repeat the victory.
Taking AJ’s best shots and coming back for more, Usyk proved a tough nut to crack. He could now face the winner of Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III in 2022.
Even when losing, Joshua still wants to fight Fury or Wilder at some point.
“The road to undisputed and all that stuff, it’s good,” said Joshua after his defeat. “As I said, I’ll fight Tyson Fury, Wilder, without the belts.
“The belts are fun. It’s great. It’s legacy. But with or without the belts, I’ll fight whoever. The road to undisputed is a nice title to have and a nice title to chase.
“But would you still watch it without the belts?
“That’s the main thing – is you’ve got two competitive fighters in the ring from UK soil that just want to go toe-to-toe.”
Fans who want to see one champion in the division may not agree. Therefore Joshua may have to focus on Usyk in the rematch first.