Great Britain

Oleksandr Usyk claims Anthony Joshua wasn’t even his hardest fight in damning verdict of Brit after classy win

OLEKSANDR USYK reckons his 12-round heavyweight world title win over Anthony Joshua was not even his hardest fight.

The 34-year-old Ukraine southpaw had his first 16 pro fights at the 14st 4lbs cruiserweight limit, winning all four belts to become undisputed king.

Joshua, 31, was the 17st defending WBA, IBF and WBO boss - boxing in front of around 60,000 home fans just a few miles from his Watford home.

Yet the moustached superstar claimed he never even hit top gear to try to land the stoppage and hinted he had tougher tests before and will have bigger ones in the future.

The eccentric said: “The plan was just to walk in, see, start, so we went in, saw and started.

“In the 12th my corner said ‘speed up’ so I did and then they said ‘and the new’.

“I tried to speed up and punched him a couple of times but I was losing my rhythm and my corner told me to slow down and throw my jab more because if I did not keep throwing my jab I would lose my rhythm.

“This is the biggest fight in my career but it was not my hardest. I think that is in my future.”


Usyk now has three of the major world titles, with Tyson Fury defending his WBC strap against Deontay Wilder on October 9.

But he has vowed to honour the rematch clause in their contract and hand AJ a shot at redemption, with no chance of a deviation from that big-money plan even if he gets a direct message from Las Vegas in a couple of weeks.

Usyk added: “I really love challenges but we have a rematch clause in the contract with Anthony Joshua and we will honour that.

“I love challenges but it does not matter if anybody calls me out, although I love the challenge when people do call me out.

“Anthony Joshua is our next opponent in our minds.”

The Ukraine sensation would love to have the rematch in his country’s national stadium.

London is a really lucky city for me

Oleksandr Usyk

But it is far more likely to happen back in the UK or in Saudi Arabia where the time difference would keep it on British primetime TV.

But maybe Watford’s AJ should swerve a return to the capital as fellow London 2012 Olympic winner Usyk reckons it’s a special place for him.

He said: "Joshua is a true warrior and fighter and he will improve his skills.

"I can’t really for sure say if he will or won’t take the rematch, but I think he probably will.

“I would love to have the rematch in the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev.

"But London is a really lucky city for me."

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

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