22nd August, 2022
By Nehru Odeh
British boxer Anthony Joshua has apologized for his post-match antics and losing his cool after his defeat against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk on Sunday.
Joshua took to Twitter on Monday 22 August to admit he let himself down during his outburst in the ring after his defeat to Usyk. He however said he acted out of pure passion and emotion.
The British boxer also admitted he had two fights that night, one with Usyk and the other with his emotions, though both got the better of him. He wished Usyk continued success in his boxing career.
“I wish @usykaa continued success in your quest for greatness. You are a class act champ,” Joshua wrote in a tweet.
“Yesterday I had to mentally take myself into a dark place to compete for the championship belts! I had two fights, one with Usyk and one with my emotions and both got the better of me.
“I’ll be the first to admit, I let myself down. I acted out of pure passion and emotion and when not controlled it ain’t great. I love this sport so so much and I’ll be better from this point on. Respect,” he added.
I wish @usykaa continued success in your quest for greatness. You are a class act champ.
This latest development is coming after the former world heavyweight champion, reacting to the judges’ decision in a moment of rage, threw away the belts, left the ring, returned back and took the mic to deliver an expletives-laden rant in front of a packed crowd at the King Abdullah Sports City Arena in Jeddah. Joshua recalled his struggles at an early age and revealed he avoided jail to be able to continue his boxing career.
“Usyk, one hell of a f***ing fighter, let’s give him a round of applause. That’s just emotion. If you knew my story, you would understand my passion,” Joshua said as he went on a 4-minute rant.
“I ain’t no f***ing amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from a youth. I was going to jail. I got bail and started training my ass off, because if I got sentenced, I wouldn’t be able to fight.”
“The f***ing passion we put into this s**t, man. This guy, to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the levels of hard work he must have put in, so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world,” he went on.
The Briton concluded by talking about the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and paid tribute to Usyk for the character he showcased in the fight despite his country dealing with difficult circumstances at present.
The British boxer has been condemned by many for his post-match antics. But if what he said during his post-match press conference and his rant is anything to go by one would not be wrong to say that his passion and the fact that he doesn’t like defeats are the reasons for his outburst.
Joshua is a pugilist who does not only have passion for his profession but also doesn’t accept defeat easily. That’s the hallmark of a champion, the never- say-die attitude. Joshua wanted to win not just for himself, as he said during the press briefing, but also for Great Britain.
While addressing the press, he was trying to hold back tears of disappointment, following his second consecutive defeat in less than a year.
“I tried a different style,” he said following the fight.
“Previously in my career what got me through when I was beating people I have been beating … I was beating them off sheer hungry and passion.
“In the last fight I wanted to compete as a boxer but it wasn’t good enough and tonight wasn’t good enough.”
“It’s hard to say I’m proud of myself, I don’t feel anything, I’m upset, deep down in my heart,” Joshua said before breaking down in tears.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn intervened before Joshua regained his composure stating he was disappointed with the outcome.
“When you lose, you’re ultimately not happy, it’s just upsetting,” Joshua stated.
“I wanted to win and I wanted to win for Great Britain because I knew how much they wanted me to fight Tyson Fury. I’m not so happy with the performance because I didn’t win.
“I appreciate everyone watching at home, I’m a fighter, I’m not a normal person. Even though I try and hold it together, to be a fighter is to have a real different mindset and lifestyle.”
It would be recalled that after Joshua defeated Vladimir Klitschko in 2017, sending him into retirement, he called out Tyson Fury in the post-fight interview, “Tyson Fury, where you at, baby? Come on — that’s what they want to see. I just want to fight everyone. I’m really enjoying this right now,” Joshua said.
However, since Joshua has failed to defeat Usyk in the rematch, the much-awaited fight between him and Fury, who currently owns the WBC Belt, is a mere mirage. Usyk, on his part, has said he is ready to fight Fury and has called him out for an undisputed heavyweight clash, saying he would annihilate him. “I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet, I’m convinced he wants to fight me, I want to fight him and if I’m not fighting Tyson Fury I’m not fighting. Only God knows whether I will or not,” Usyk averred.
Fury, giving his reaction to the fight between Joshua and Usyk, dismissed it, saying he wasn’t impressed by it.
The Gypsy King took to social media and said: “After watching that, the both of them were s***e. “It was one of the worst heavyweight title fights I have ever seen.
“It was bulls***. Come on!
“I annihilate both of them on the same night.
“Get your f***ing cheque book out, because the Gypsy King is here to stay, forever!”
Fury, who has surprisingly announced his comeback from retirement after the fight, said he is open to an undisputed clash if the money is right. Since Fury and Usyk have vowed to annihilate each other in an undisputed clash, it will definitely be a showdown, and boxing buffs cannot wait to watch it