‘I let myself down’ – Anthony Joshua speaks out on his meltdown after Oleksandr Usyk loss

Anthony Joshua delivered a bizarre speech in the ring after his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk
Anthony Joshua delivered a bizarre speech in the ring after his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk (AFP via Getty)

Anthony Joshua admits he ‘let himself down’ after reflecting on his behaviour in the aftermath of his loss to Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua suffered the third defeat of his professional career in Saudi Arabia as Usyk retained his heavyweight titles via a split-decision victory.

After the fight, Joshua threw two of Usyk’s belts out of the ring and refused to be calmed down by several members of his own team as well as Usyk’s entourage.

Joshua stormed out of the ring towards his dressing room but then returned to deliver a bizarre speech with Usyk stood next to him looking puzzled.

Joshua has now said he ‘acted out of pure passion and emotion’ with his impromptu monologue and has vowed to ‘be better from this point on’.

‘I wish @usykaa continued success in your quest for greatness. You are a class act champ,’ Joshua wrote on Instagram.

‘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.

‘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.’

When asked about Joshua’s reaction after his loss, Usyk said: ‘I didn’t feel much at this time when he was a bit frustrated. Just common emotions. It’s all good. We just need to communicate a little bit.

‘The good things that he said about me is something that I accept. But I don’t accept it deep to my heart because I want to stay a humble person.

‘I don’t want my pride inside me to go bigger. That’s something like that. I don’t believe in good words.

‘I feel nothing but respect for Anthony Joshua.

‘I saw he was a bit emotional and he was bullying some of my teammates.

‘But I don’t recommend him to have a bare-knuckle fight with them because they are horrible street fighters.

‘I have 20 bouts and 20 wins at the moment, some of my guys have 25 [wins] and 25 by the way of knockout.’

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