Oleksandr Usyk has compared ‘Anthony Joshua to a ‘little boy’ who had his ball taken from him after watching the Briton throw his world titles out of the ring.
The undefeated Ukrainian took the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles from Joshua last year and turned in another masterful performance in their rematch last month in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua graciously applauded his opponent after the judges’ scorecards were read out and the two shared a warm embrace before the former champion’s mood took a turn.
Joshua took the WBA and Ring Magazine belts from Yurii Ivanovich Tkachenko, Usyk’s head trainer, before marching across the canvas and unceremoniously dumped them out of the ring. It was followed by a passionate yet bizarre speech.
Recalling the moment in an interview with his USYK17 YouTube channel, Usyk said: ‘You know, I thought, “What a poor fool.”
‘I thought, “Why should you be doing that?” He reminded me of a little boy who wanted to play with the ball, but it was taken away from him. So, he decided to throw it over the neighbour’s fence. But the ball landed next to a fierce dog, so was it such a smart decision in the end?’
Following the post-fight chaos, Joshua would later apologise in an emotional press conference where he said he ‘acted out of pure passion’.
‘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,’ Joshua said.
‘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.’
Usyk, 35, has won all 20 of his professional fights having unified the cruiserweight division before stepping up to conquer at heavyweight.
After a lengthy career that also saw him win Olympic gold at London 2012, he is now targeting three more fights before retiring from the sport.
A unification showdown with WBC champion Tyson Fury could be on the cards in 2023 with a ‘freak fight’ against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the undisputed super-middleweight king who recently fought at light-heavyweight, also in his sights.
‘I can have three more fights at the very most. It is the most realistic to be in my top form. With Fury, Canelo and a farewell fight at Olympiyskiy. With Canelo, he said he wanted to fight me. It would be a freak fight just for the sake of earning money. People say I’m a freak.’
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