‘AJ v Fury is DEAD’: Boxing fans furious after Anthony Joshua’s defeat by Oleksandr Usyk, who deals a crippling blow to £200m super fight with Gypsy King
Oleksandr Usyk not only returns to Ukraine with Anthony Joshua’s IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA belts after silencing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a boxing masterclass, but he also leaves the biggest fight in a generation in ruins .
Joshua, 31, was expected to pass the cunning Ukrainian’s challenge and get one step closer to a £200m mega fight with Tyson Fury after seeing their match go awry over the summer.
However, AJ had no answer for the surgical precision and speed of the former unified cruiserweight champion, with the 34-year-old dominating in front of a one-sided crowd in north London.
Boxing fans are outraged after Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury received a crippling blow
Joshua’s second reign as heavyweight champion comes to an end after defeat to Oleksandr Usyk
In doing so, Usyk dealt a crippling blow to hopes of a much-anticipated clash between Joshua and Fury – a fight dubbed the biggest in British boxing.
Joshua’s second loss of his career makes that fight far out of reach, as Tyson Fury puts his WBC title on the line in a trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder in two weeks.
And fans have taken to Twitter to lament the fallout from Joshua’s devastating defeat to Usyk.
“That’s it – Fury v AJ is dead,” one fan wrote. “Boxing made boxing. A man killed the biggest fight in a generation.’
Joshua was outsmarted by the cunning Ukrainian who won the fight via unanimous decision
The result means Usyk will own Joshua’s IBO, WBO, IBF and WBO titles
Usyk was Joshua’s mandatory challenger for the WBO title, with the boxing organization insisting that the Briton live up to its commitment to take on the Ukrainian – although they had agreed that AJ would face Fury first.
“Well, AJ vs Fury is dead. For God’s sake,” wrote another boxing fan. “So annoyed that AJ vs Fury has died,” wrote one supporter. “I prefer Usyk, but I really wanted to see that fight.”
Boxing politics has long ruined the biggest fights, with fans waiting years for Floyd Mayweather to take on Manny Pacquiao. A fan predicted that Joshua v Fury will not take place until 2025.
“We won’t see AJ vs Fury until 2025… screw it up.”
It also means that a heavyweight super fight with Tyson Fury is some distance from reality
And boxing fans took to Twitter to lament the fallout from Joshua’s defeat to Usyk
Meanwhile, a fan opined that boxing’s “flawed” system is why AJ v Fury fell through, suggesting the sport could take a leaf from the MMA books.
Promoters overcooked Fury-Joshua, now it’s ruined,” said @dannyseguaratv.
“We often criticize MMA for not building fights like boxing, but the boxing system has its flaws. Shown clearly tonight. Congratulations to Usyk and also to the judges for not robbing him.”
Joshua did not give a post-fight interview following his unanimous defeat, but insisted via social media that he remains “positive” despite “the world falling apart”.
AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn says Joshua plans to activate his rematch clause with Usyk
‘Stay positive, even if the world collapses for you!’ He wrote. “London, I love you and I thank you every time!”
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, revealed that the defeated champion plans to activate his rematch clause as he bids to sit at the top heavyweight for a third time.
“I spoke to him, it was clearly a tough battle, a grueling battle, he’s not talking quite like you’d expect at the moment,” he told Sky Sports. ‘[He] If you want to train right away, they look into the eye socket. A devastating defeat, congratulations Oleksandr Usyk, the better fighter has won.
“No complaints from AJ, he’ll be back. We’ve been here before [but] Which [Andy Ruiz Jr loss] was different. He was beaten at night by a better man.
“The fighter in AJ says, ‘I’ll win the rematch’. I was pretty close on lap eight but then Usyk walked away with it. Usyk was the deserved winner and he has to make changes before the rematch.”