Anthony Joshua loses to Usyk

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Oleksandr Usyk edged out Anthony Joshua to retain his world titles after an enthralling rematch in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua, with new trainer Robert Garcia in his corner, produced a much-improved performance 11 months on from his defeat by the former undisputed cruiserweight world champion.

But Usyk again proved to be too good as he was given the nod on two of the three scorecards.

But Joshua’s performance was marred by his post-fight actions when he picked up two of the four belts on offer, slammed them on the canvas and stormed out of the ring in anger.

 

The Olympic champion regained his composure and returned to the ring before delivering an X-rated speech.

Usyk dominated Joshua over 12 rounds in London

 

On that occasion, Joshua claimed he wanted to out-box his unbeaten rival only for his game plan to fall apart as he conceded the early rounds.

Joshua was unable to recover and was almost stopped on his feet in the dying stages as Usyk ran out a comfortable winner in just his third fight at heavyweight.

Joshua immediately triggered his rematch clause but the fight was delayed from April to July and finally to late August after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Joshua walked to the ring first for just the second time in his career and was decked out in a black, a change of outfit having been dressed in white for his previous 11 world title fights.

In another nod to Mike Tyson, the Brit was accompanied by the motivational words of legendary trainer Cus D’Amato.

Usyk, meanwhile, made his walk from the changing room in the blue and yellow of his homeland as he looked to extend his unbeaten record and cement his position in the upper echelons of the mythical pound-for-pound list.

And it was Usyk who landed the first solid punch of the fight with a left hand to the chin as Joshua looked to work the champion’s body.

He then responded to another left hand with a back hand of his own but it was the Ukrainian who made the better start.

Joshua punctuated the start of the second round with a right hand as he looked to take the initiative.

He looked to drop down to the body but Usyk’s footwork continued to cause problems, as it did in their first meeting, as he landed flush with his lead right hand.

Joshua landed a clubbing left-right in the opening minute of the third stanza but was struggling to find any consistency in the face of Usyk’s evasive style.

The champion worked his way into the round towards the bell but it was the challenger who did enough to nick the session.

Joshua’s corner told him he had won the opening three rounds and the Brit landed a stiff jab to open his account in round four.

A right hand forced Usyk back but the smaller man took the shot well on his gloves before planting his feet and landing his dangerous left hand.

Left hands were traded at the start of the fifth round as a more aggressive Joshua looked more comfortable letting his hands go.

 

Joshua looked to have Usyk hurt with a body shot but the Ukrainian complained of a low blow and was given time to recover.

Joshua stalked Usyk at the beginning of the sixth round as he landed a right hand followed by a left hook.

The challenger’s right eye was beginning to show signs of wear and tear as the pace began to slow.

But Joshua rallied the crowd with a right hand against the ropes.

Usyk responded with a left hand-right hook before finishing the session on top.

Joshua looked to rough up Usyk as the fight entered the second half, grabbing his head and looking to land to the body.

He looked to take the centre of the ring and landed a right to which Usyk replied with the opposite hand as he took over in the second half of the round.

 

 

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