Great Britain

Joshua must trigger Usyk rematch clause immediately or risk NEVER getting chance to win belts back, warns Eddie Hearn

ANTHONY JOSHUA must trigger his rematch clause against Oleksandr Usyk or risk NEVER having the chance to win the world championship belts back.

That is according to AJ's Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn who 'cannot see another option'.

Joshua failed to make use of his 18lb weight advantage over former cruiserweight king Usyk, who landed a barrage of heavy southpaw shots throughout the bout at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

The Ukrainian finished with a flourish in the final rounds to put the result beyond doubt and seal a unanimous 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 win at the new White Hart Lane.

A rematch clause exists in the contract for Saturday night's fight and Hearn reckons AJ must trigger it and battle Usyk again straight away.

Asked if he would advise AJ to take the rematch, Hearn said: "Yeah because at the end of the day, what are you going to do?

"Are you going to go and have a ten-rounder or fight an interim bout?

"Ultimately if he doesn't accept the rematch clause, he will not get a chance to win his world championships back... possibly ever the way this game works.

"And that was the same with [Andy] Ruiz.

"To be honest, I would have actually probably advised him not to take the Ruiz match after that kind of defeat.

"I know he was out-boxed tonight but against Ruiz he went down four or five times and he was stopped quite badly in that fight.

"Tonight he was out-boxed and started to get a little bit beat up towards the end - but there were a number of reasons for that.

"But I don't see another option. He's not going to want to go and have a ten-rounder at the O2. He's going to want to try and win his belts back.

"And he should be commended for it. And this time as an underdog in that rematch."


Although AJ is expected to trigger the rematch clause, new world champ Usyk said the fight won't be for some time.

The Ukraine hero said: "This means a lot to me.

"I've been working so hard since January. It took me some half a year.

"I miss my children. I want to go home. I'm not thinking about the rematch.

"You didn't see the best Usyk. I can be much better. The fight went exactly the way I expected it to go.

"There was times when Anthony pushed me hard but nothing special.

"I had no objective to knock him out. My corner pushed me not to do that.


"My trainer said no and to stick to my job."

Joshua could could not see out of his right eye from the ninth round on Saturday.

And Hearn revealed after the Brit would head to hospital to check if he had broken his eye socket.


Anthony Joshua discusses losing to Oleksandr Usyk in post-fight press conference

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