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New champ Usyk heads for easy life however Joshua eyes rematch

LONDON — Anthony Joshua was strolling again to his dressing room, dazed, bedraggled — he might barely see out of his proper eye — with sympathetic shouts coming from the gang of 66,000 who’d simply seen British boxing’s nationwide treasure lose his world heavyweight titles once more.

Joshua was attempting onerous to not really feel sorry for himself. Actually, he was already plotting how he might defeat Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch.

“Once I was strolling again by the tunnel, I simply stated to myself, `I’m able to get again to the fitness center, I’m prepared to simply put that work in,”’ Joshua stated. “Most individuals after they’ve completed a combat, it’s like, `Yeah, let me exit and have a little bit of enjoyable.’ However my mindset is a bit completely different.”

So, after shaking palms with Usyk and video-calling the brand new champ’s children again in Ukraine, Joshua received his crew to placed on a tape of the combat and watched it with two individuals near him — Tony Bellew and Derek Chisora — who’ve additionally misplaced to Usyk over the previous three years.

“This isn’t only one combat after which I’m accomplished,” Joshua stated. “I’ve received a chance to return to the drafting board.”

The video could have been a tricky watch. Befuddled by preventing a southpaw for under the second time, Joshua was given a lesson in motion and punching pace by an undefeated 34-year-old opponent who demolished all-comers within the cruiserweight division and — after simply three fights at heavyweight — already owns three of the 4 main belts in boxing’s blue riband class.

To Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, Usyk is the second greatest pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.

“Anthony might have swerved that combat simple. Perhaps we must always have,” Hearn stated. “However that’s probably not what he’s about.

“You’ve received individuals who will take simple choices and also you’ve received individuals who will select to combat all people. And the latter is AJ.”

So, Joshua will “100%, 110%” set off the rematch clause that was a part of the deal.

Hearn stated it would happen in February or March, hopefully in Britain and virtually definitely not in Kiev – the popular location for Usyk regardless of his fearsome fame as a highway fighter.

Joshua’s coach, Rob McCracken, assume he is aware of how his man can shut the hole on Usyk and keep away from getting within the sort of scenario that noticed him hanging on the ropes by the top of Saturday’s combat, on the top of a pummeling in his personal again yard. He certainly would have gone down had the ultimate bell not sounded.

“You’ve received to use strain behind your jab and your proper hand, preserve him off-balance and put your pictures collectively once you get there,” McCracken stated.

Simpler stated than accomplished.

Usyk will begin as favourite within the rematch — Hearn stated that, and Joshua didn’t disagree — and is blessed with such expertise and pedigree that he’ll be assured of outboxing his fellow Olympic gold medalist from 2012 as soon as once more.

It was some efficiency, in solely his third heavyweight combat, in such a fevered environment and in opposition to a two-time world champion. By the top, he was bullying the youthful Joshua — a person with a definite benefit in top, weight and attain – and gained comprehensively on all three of the judges’ scorecards.

“It’s the greatest combat in my profession but it surely wasn’t the toughest one. That’s forward of us,” Usyk stated.

Earlier than that — and Joshua now has the good thing about a combat in opposition to the slippery and sharp Usyk within the reminiscence financial institution — Usyk desires to go residence and “stay” a easy life for some time.

“I wish to take my children to highschool, I wish to plant bushes, I wish to water apple bushes, I wish to see my spouse extra usually,” he stated.

He’ll return residence to a hero’s reception – Usyk is already a giant deal in Ukraine – and put the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles alongside his heavyweight gold medal from the 2012 Olympics, the piece of {hardware} he nonetheless treasures greater than every other.

And Joshua? The favored Londoner simply went by his most chastening expertise within the ring, outclassed somewhat than shocked like he was within the beautiful loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019.

For that cause, the restoration course of can be completely different and he’ll should reassess his strategy. That may additionally imply taking a look at his ring stroll.

Whereas Usyk was all enterprise on his solution to the center, Joshua may need been too relaxed, high-fiving followers and even slicing away to hug an outdated face from his boyhood boxing membership.

It’s all a part of the Joshua Present – he continues to promote out huge venues, the newest being Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — however that has been blown off beam, together with the all-English narrative of a combat with WBC champion Tyson Fury to be undisputed champion.

It’s not over, although. Joshua is just 31 and is simply too good — and profitable — a fighter for Hearn to surrender on.

“Perhaps AJ gave (Usyk) an excessive amount of respect, notably within the early a part of the combat,” Hearn stated.

“I don’t know if he (Usyk) might be significantly better. I hope he can’t … I feel he boxed the proper combat. Can he do it once more? Perhaps he can elevate his recreation, however possibly he can’t field to that degree once more. AJ will, I promise you, be a lot, significantly better than that within the rematch.”

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