Usyek retained his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles by defeating Britain’s Joshua, who fared better in a rematch but proved unable to topple the champion in a thrilling 12-round contest.
“It’s really hard for me to say I’m proud of myself. I’m really upset, deep down,” Joshua told reporters.
“I tried a different technique…in the last fight I wanted to compete as a boxer, but it wasn’t good enough, and tonight wasn’t good enough.”
Joshua threw two Usic’s belts after the last bell before he walked out of the ring, only to come back later and give an impassioned speech.
“When you try to do things from your heart, not everyone will understand,” Joshua explained. “It was only from the heart. I knew I was mad at myself. Not at anyone, just myself. I was like I came out here because I’m crazy.”
“When you’re angry, you might do stupid things. Then I realized this was a sport. I went back and did the right thing.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has dismissed speculation that retirement may be around the corner for the 32-year-old, who has battled Usyek since just last year.
Joshua said, “I’m a fighter for life. This hunger never dies. A fighter for life.”
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