In pictures: Joshua stunned by Usyk
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Anthony Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF belts on Saturday night as he was defeated by Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Usyk dominated the Briton throughout and enjoyed a relatively comfortable victory in the capital.
Talks of a rematch have already begun, with both fighters apparently having a second contest already written into their contracts.
And, according to talkSPORT, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has now stated that a target date of next February or March has been set for the rematch.
The contest will apparently take place in the UK once again, despite Usyk’s desire to go head-to-head with Joshua on home soil in Ukraine.
Joshua struggled to assert his dominance against Usyk on Saturday night and found himself on the back foot throughout.
The 31-year-old was outclassed from the off and suffered a cut underneath his right eye in the opening rounds.
READ MORE: Anthony Joshua loses unanimous decision to Oleksandr Usyk
Joshua, who enjoyed a significant physical advantage over his opponent, had a brief resurgence at the midway point but looked devoid of ideas in the second half of the bout.
Usyk displayed his technical ability throughout and proved too much for Joshua thanks to his incredible movement and intelligence.
And the Ukrainian was finally deemed the winner, with the judges scoring the fight 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 in his favour.
“It’s going to be really difficult because Usyk’s confidence will be sky high,” Hearn told Sky Sports in the aftermath of the fight.
“But when you get to the level of Anthony Joshua, as we saw after the Ruiz defeat, there’s no 10-round comeback fights and warm-ups.
“It’s straight back into the fire and he will want to go straight back into that rematch. He will be an underdog in the rematch this time after that tonight – but that’s what he does.”
Saturday’s defeat is Joshua’s second of his career. The Watford-born fighter was defeated by Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019.
A rematch was arranged on that occasion and Joshua went on to win the second bout six months later.
The Briton may have made amends after his first defeat but he will find it much tougher to get the better of Usyk if they do go head-to-head once again.
Usyk is a much more disciplined and skilful boxer than Ruiz Jr and is likely to be hungry to prove to the world that he is the new force in the heavyweight division and is here to stay.
The 34-year-old has reached the top the hard way. He fought 350 times as an amateur before illustrating his ability to succeed at the highest level of the sport.
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