Anthony Joshua is fuming following his heavyweight championship defeat to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk in Saudia Arabia on Saturday.
The Englishman lost on a split decision as Usyk defended his heavyweight titles, beating Joshua for a second time.
Joshua threw two of Usyk’s belts on the floor at the end of the fight following the result and headed for his changing room before storming back to the ring to shake Usyk’s hand.
He then picked up the microphone and went on an expletive-filled rant, discussing the fight, his career, leading cheers to Usyk, and discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Make AJ dey come house abeg 😭 https://t.co/qnOVO8UuCI
— star boy☠️ (@OmosebiDaniel) August 21, 2022
Joshua’s emotions were clearly running high following the loss after twelve rounds of stunning boxing, and he returned to the ring to address the crowd in Jeddah.
The Englishman began by referencing his youth and troubles with police as he reflected on his career following the devastating defeat and applauded his competitor.
“If you knew my story you would understand the passion. I ain’t no amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from youth.
“I was going to jail, I got bail and I started training my arse off, I wanted to be able to fight.
“I’m stealing this Usyk I’m sorry, but it’s because of the passion we put into this. This guy to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the level of hard work I put in so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.’
Joshua pushed Usyk all the way and produced a largely more impressive performance in his first fight at Tottenham Hotspur stadium last year but couldn’t find a way past his Ukrainian counterpart.
The former champion insisted he was a ‘new breed of heavyweight’ in the aftermath of defeat as he labelled Usyk as a ‘phenomenal talent’.
“I’m not a 12 round fighter, look at me, I’m a new breed of heavyweights, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, ‘you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano’, I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy, it’s hard work.
“This guy here is a phenomenal talent, we’re going to cheer for him three times.”
Meanwhile, while speaking in the early hours at the post-fight press conference, the former champion was still overcome with emotion.
Attempting to explain how he felt, he faltered as he choked back tears, holding his head in his hands.
“I don’t feel anything,” he said at first, as he tried to come to terms with the effect of the loss, before he had to admit, “I’m upset deep down in my heart.”
He explained his earlier behaviour, saying, “I was mad at myself. Not at anyone, just at myself. So I thought I’ve got to get out of here because I’m mad. Like anyone when you’re angry, you might do stupid things.
“Then I realised, this is sport. Let me do the right thing.
“Then I just spoke from my heart,” he continued. “It’s been so tough. You see AJ holding it together and I’m a hustler so I try and hold things together and I try and work hard, put things together, make sure my team’s good. But it comes at a cost, a big cost. It’ll never break me, but it takes real strength for it not to break you.
“There’s a little crack in that armour. Because I took a loss and I think you just saw me upset.
“I’m a fighter,” he added, “I’m not a normal person, even though I try to hold it together.
“I was just in war mode.”