Anthony Joshua says he’s still stung by his loss last September to the smaller man Oleksandr Usyk in London and he plans on redeeming himself in the rematch.
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) states that when he lost to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, it wasn’t as bad because he had “reasons” for the loss. Joshua, 32, claims that he knew he would beat Ruiz in their rematch, and sure enough, he did just that.
In AJ’s defeat against Usyk, it was a different story. He says he had no excuses, and he came up short when he decided to box him.
Without a valid reason for why he got beaten by Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), Joshua says the defeat was more difficult for him to take this time around.
Joshua admits that he tried to outbox him because he wanted to prove to the boxing public that he was more than just a “bodybuilder” that they viewed him. As it turns out, it was a bad idea for Joshua to box Usyk, which is why he lost.
“When I lost the first time, I never made excuses, but I had my reasons and I knew I would get it back. This one hurt because I was 100%, no problems. I just lost to the better man and it hurt. But it gave me motivation. I’ll redeem myself,” said Joshua to Sky Sports.
What Joshua isn’t saying is that one of the reasons why was able to avenge his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. is that the American let himself go physically after his victory in their first fight in June 2018, ballooning up in weight and not taking his training seriously for the rematch.
The Ruiz Jr. that lost the rematch against Joshua looked nowhere near the fighter he’d been in the first contest with AJ.
There’s talk that Ruiz had been over 300 lbs before starting his training, and he was only able to get down to 283 lbs, which was a lot heavier than the 260s that he was in during the first fight.
“There was always a stigma that I can’t box, I’m a big, stiff bodybuilder,” said Joshua on his mindset going into the Usyk fight. “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,” said Joshua.
So, there it is. Joshua NOT making excuses for his loss to Usyk and giving his reasons for WHY he lost the fight.