Joshua was outpointed by Usyk for the second time in 11 months but delivered a much-improved performance, convincing one judge he was worthy of victory only to be denied the win by the remaining officials. The Brit then stormed out of the ring before returning to deliver a passionate and X-rated speech.
He later addressed the media at 4am local time but struggled to find the words to express how he was feeling. “I tried a different style,” he said. “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.”
Joshua was then asked if he was proud of himself, to which he replied: “It’s hard to say I’m proud of myself, I don’t feel anything, I’m upset, deep down in my heart.” At that point Joshua pulled his cap over his eyes and was unable to speak as promoter Eddie Hearn took over proceedings.
When he had regained his composure, Joshua added: “When you lose, you’re ultimately not happy, it’s just upsetting. 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.”
Promoter Hearn praised his fighter after he suffered his third career defeat, adding: “He’s given his whole life since he started to the sport of boxing. People don’t realise what a bubble the life of Anthony Joshua is, everyone in the country knows who he is, everyone’s got an opinion of who he is.
“He’s in the gym all the time with his team, there is no-one I know who is more dedicated to the sport than him and sometimes people don’t understand the pressure on his shoulders, but he’s been an amazing ambassador.”