Nigerian-born British boxer, Anthony Joshua, lost his heavyweight belts to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the early hours on Sunday.
The defeat means AJ loses his WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO world heavyweight titles to Usyk, a former Cruiserweight champion, now World heavyweight champion.
Unbeaten Usyk dominated the fight from the first round, outclassing AJ with outstanding punches in front of 67,000 fans in London.
In a unanimous decision, the judges scored the fight: 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113 as Usyk becomes the third boxer after Evander Holyfield and David Haye to win world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight.
“This means a lot to me. The fight went exactly the way I expected it to go, there were times when Anthony pushed me hard, but nothing special.
“I had no objective to knock him out. My corner pushed me not to do that, Usyk tells Sky Sports.
Not happy with his performance on the night, AJ quickly requested a rematch, citing that he will reenact the clause in his contract with Usyk.
“100%, I want it next, AJ said. “I’ll get back into training soon. That was a good 12 rounds for my lungs, I’ll be back.”
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that a rematch clause was part of the fight contract.
“There are no complaints from AJ and he will go again,” Hearn said live on Sky Sports.
“He has been beaten by a pound-for-pound great fighter. We have been here before at Madison Square Garden. That was different and he has been beaten by the better man on the night. He will have to make some big changes in the rematch to avenge that defeat.”
Usyk’s promoter, Alexander Krassyuk of K2 Promotions, said before the fight that he expected an immediate rematch with Joshua.
“Every ambitious fighter is chasing for glory, is chasing for recognition, for success, for fame,” Krassyuk said. “And there’s only one way to get all of those things. It’s to fight the best fighters. And AJ is the best. He is the king of the division. But if you wanna become a king yourself, you have to dethrone the king. So, let this fight happen, let the best man win and we’ll see you again for the rematch.”
When asked if he will fight Joshua in a rematch, he says: “I’ve been working so hard since January. It took me some half a year. I miss my children and I want to go home. I’m not thinking about the rematch.
“You didn’t see the best Usyk. I can be much better.”
Usyk refused to be drawn on his immediate future, instead insisting he wanted “to go home” and that he was “not thinking about a rematch”.
AJ’s defeat to Usyk came as a shock as bookmakers have favoured Joshua heading into the fight.
Despite the defeat, AJ goes home with £10million, while Usyk new champion pockets £2.5million and if the fight meets expected PayPerView target, AJ gets another £5million and Usyk an additional £1.5million.
Usyk remains unbeaten after defeating AJ on points. He’s now won 19 of all his 19 fights.
AJ has now suffered second defeat of his professional career, just over two years after his first came against Andy Ruiz Jr.
The rematch affords AJ a second opportunity to reclaim his belts from Usyk.