Anthony Joshua had some words for Oleksandr Usyk at the final bell of their first fight, having lost his world title belts for the second time in his career.
The Londoner got predictably out-foxed by Usyk when attempting to fight the wrong gameplan, leaving the formidable Ukrainian to win at a canter.
An immediate rematch clause implanted into the contract – as usual by AJ and his promoter Eddie Hearn – means both will do it all over again soon.
But once the fight was over, Joshua believed he had the beating of Usyk in the next fight. He worked out what went wrong pretty quickly.
Sergey Lapin, Usyk’s manager, spilled the beans on what went down after giving his assessment of the triumph.
“To be honest, in the fight with Usyk, I saw the best version of Joshua in years,” Lapin told the MyBettingSites Blog. “Joshua is strong-willed. He has character.
“All belts were at stake. AJ went all-in but lost. I don’t understand at all why most boxing skeptics say Joshua’s wrong strategy. And that was the explanation for Usyk’s victory.
“This victory was not just a lucky blow. As in the fight with Ruiz, it was a victory by all criteria.
“As for the immediate rematch, right after the end of the twelfth round, I heard Anthony say: “Hey, Alex, I know how to beat you. I want a rematch.”
“Now, he will try to take back his title. We are definitely looking forward to a very cool rematch.”
Usyk is now known as one of the world’s best fighters after becoming undisputed at cruiserweight and unified at heavyweight.
If it does get over the line, a second bout will almost certainly go the same way unless something drastic happens on the part of Joshua.
Since defeating Wladimir Klitschko and almost getting knocked out himself on the night in 2017, Joshua hasn’t looked the part in much of his tenure as champion.
In addition, a list of also-ran opponents and sub-par performances blight his potential to be an all-time great.
Similarly, losing to Usyk again over the coming months will do little to help that fact.
Furthermore, Mr. “I am Feel” will look to cement his place in the pecking order for a massive undisputed battle with Tyson Fury in 2022.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.
Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.