Anthony Joshua says he wants to return to the ring before the end of the year as he starts to target his route back to another world heavyweight title shot.
Far from hiding after his split decision defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in Jeddah, Joshua turned up at the post-fight press conference and said he would take only two weeks’ holiday before returning to training.
He said he asked Eddie Hearn, his promoter, for a return date in November, although Hearn said a December date is more likely.
“I spoke to Eddie and asked if I could go in November because momentum is important,” Joshua said. “He said December. I will take two weeks off.
“I am a fighter for life and the fire never dies. Come one, come all, whoever wants it can get it.”
After an emotional rant in the ring, when he threw Usyk’s belts and made a long rambling speech to the crowd, Joshua was so overcome at the press conference that he broke down in tears.
“Eleven months (out of the ring) is a long time,” he said. “I don’t know if I exorcised any demons, I don’t know how to answer that.
“I tried a different style. What got me through the early days, when I was beating guys that I shouldn’t have been – with only three years as an amateur – I was beating guys out of sheer hunger and passion. I wanted to compete and give him a more competitive fight.
“It’s really hard to say I am proud of myself; I am just really upset deep down in my heart. Trust me, f——- hell, deep down.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 – covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.