Two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua stunned the audience, and the live viewers, with his post-fight explosion in the aftermath of his decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
In a highly anticipated rematch, Usyk retained the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles with a twelve round split decision win over Joshua.
After the scores were read, Joshua dropped two of the belts and protested the decision. He left the ring, but eventually came back.
Joshua would later grab the mic and began a four-minute rant, laced with profanity and bizarre statements.
“Usyk, one hell of a f—-ing fighter, let’s give him a round of applause. That’s just emotion. If you knew my story, you would understand my passion,” Joshua stated. “I ain’t no f——- amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from a youth. I was going to jail. I got bail and started training my ass off, because if I got sentenced, I wouldn’t be able to fight.
He continued: “The f——- passion we put into this sh!t, man. This guy, to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the levels of hard work he must have put in, so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world. Woo! Motherf—–!
“I’m not a 12-round fighter. Look at me! I’m a new breed of heavyweights. All them heavyweights — Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey. ‘Oh, you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano.’ ‘Cause I ain’t f—–’ 14 stone, that’s why! I’m 18 stone and I’m heavy! It’s hard work! This guy here is a phenomenal talent.”
Joshua would then start discussing Ukraine – labeling the ongoing attack by Russia as a “civil war.”
“I was studying Ukraine and all the champions that have come from your amazing country. I ain’t never been there, but at the same time, what’s happening there is — I don’t know what’s happening, but it’s not nice at the end of the day,” Joshua said.
In response to all of the backlash, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, explained that emotions were running high.
“The reaction from AJ – he’s a human, so much pressure. He exploded, he was devastated,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“He’s a competitor and a man. He’s [Usyk] the pound-for-pound number one. They asked me [about the score], I thought it was close. I thought 115-113. I had it very close. Maybe AJ one round up after the ninth. A great performance from Anthony Joshua.
“They’re both tremendous fighters. [Tyson] Fury is a clever man, he could’ve fought Usyk, he chose not to. AJ was desperate to win the fight. He lost a split decision to the pound-for-pound No 1. He needs to go back, rebuild, get the frustration out, but also be happy.”