Devastated Anthony Joshua'll activate rematch clause, says promoter Hearn

Joshua was stripped of his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts after by Usyk - the WBO mandatory challenger.
Devastated Anthony Joshua'll activate rematch clause, says promoter Hearn
Then goes over to console a devastated Anthony Joshua.Photograph: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock

Former world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, will activate following his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

WuzupNigeria reported that Joshua was stripped of his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts after by Usyk - the WBO mandatory challenger.

Hearn who recently penned a new long-term deal with Joshua admitted that Usyk was the better man on the night at the Tottenham Stadium.

The Ukrainian won via unanimous decision with scores of 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 to hand Joshua his second career defeat after Andy Ruiz Jr.

Reacting after the defeat, Hearn said, “I spoke to him [Joshua] ... obviously it was a tough fight, a gruelling fight ... a devastating defeat. Congrats to Usyk, what a fighter, the better man won ... The danger was always that you overthink it and try to be too technical and don’t use your attributes ... it was all the things you worry about against a fighter like Usyk. No complaints from AJ, he’ll get up, and he’ll go again. This was just being beat by a better man on the night.

“He’s [Joshua] got to make changes in the rematch because if that happens again, of course, he’ll get beat,” said Hearn.

“He’s got to impose himself early. It’s going to be really difficult because Usyk’s confidence will be sky-high, but when you get to the level of Anthony Joshua, as we saw in the Ruiz defeat, there are no 10 round fights and warm-ups.

“You’re straight back into the fights, and he will want to go straight back into the fight in a rematch. He will be an underdog in that rematch after tonight, but that’s what he does.

“He chose to take on a pound-for-pound great. It didn’t work out, but he should get credit for that. He stayed on his feet, I’ll give him credit for that as well, but it’s sport.

“He was beaten by the better man. Congratulations to Oleksandr Usyk. This is his life. He’s already talking about being in the gym. He lives and breathes boxing.

“Boxing saved him, boxing made him, and he won’t fall out of love with the game. When you do, that’s the time to walk away from the sport,” said Eddie about Joshua.

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