Rent Free: Anthony Joshua blames Tyson Fury for Oleksandr Usyk loss

Anthony Joshua Tyson Fury Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua has admitted stiff bodybuilder comments made by Tyson Fury affected his game plan for the Oleksandr Usyk fight.

The Briton, who lost for the second time in his career to the formidable Ukrainian last September, says Fury’s berating made him alter his style.

Heading into the Usyk clash and defending three heavyweight belts, Joshua wanted to prove he was more than that after Fury’s insults.


Joshua’s move backfired, and now fans on social media are discussing if Fury does indeed ‘live in Anthony Joshua’s head rent free’ as he claims.

Speaking to Sky Sports via the Dubia Expo, Joshua made the startling revelation. “I was supposed to fight [Tyson Fury] last August,” he pointed out.

“If I don’t fight the guy I’m supposed to fight, I want the next best. Usyk came up from cruiserweight – a great fighter, a 12-round fighter.

“There was always a stigma that I can’t box. I’m a big, stiff bodybuilder [said by Tyson Fury]. So I said, Cool, let me practice my boxing.

“I tried practicing my boxing with Oleksandr Usyk. He won nine rounds. I won three. Next fight, I win four more rounds – I win.”

Anthony Joshua Oleksandr Usyk
Mark Robinson

On potentially going back to his old style for the rematch, Joshua added: “In the next fight, if I win four more rounds, then I will win.

“Let me simplify that matter. Then I’ll get onto the road to being the undisputed champion again.”

A two-time world heavyweight stating that an opponent affected the way he fought in his biggest title defense in four years is quite a shocking development.

It will only reinforce those who say Joshua is mentally weak when dragged into the trenches.


In his most recent podcast, Ex-Mike Tyson coach Teddy Atlas aired his thoughts on that topic.

“I do think Anthony Joshua accepts defeat too easily, too graciously,” said Atlas. He’s too gracious when it comes to it, like a guy that has made too much money.”

When losing to Usyk, Joshua looked bereft of ideas as the cruiserweight king wouldn’t adhere to his blueprint for the fight.

It was a pretty straightforward win for Usyk against a bigger guy with more power. Joshua needs to utilize this more in the second bout.

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.