Anthony Joshua’s bid to recapture the unified heavyweight titles led to disappointment as Oleksandr Usyk produced a terrific efficiency to win by break up resolution in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
In a conflict billed because the Rage on the Purple Sea, a spirited Joshua, 32, confirmed some aggressiveness and intent – an enormous enchancment from their first struggle – however couldn’t match the brilliance and ring savviness of the Ukrainian.
Two judges scored the struggle 115-113 and 116-112 to Usyk, whereas a 3rd choose gave it 115-113 to the challenger. Whereas there have been some shut rounds, Usyk was the deserved winner.
On the finish of the struggle, a livid Joshua – fairly bizarrely – picked up two of Usyk’s belts, dropped them on the ground and strode in the direction of the dressing room, earlier than turning spherical and getting again into the ring to provide an impassioned speech.
“Usyk is one hell of a fighter. That’s simply emotion,” he mentioned. “When you knew my story, you’d perceive the eagerness. I’m not an beginner boxer. I used to be going to jail and I bought bail and I began coaching.
“It reveals the eagerness we put into this. For this man to beat me tonight, it reveals the degrees of onerous work he will need to have put in, so please give him a spherical of applause as heavyweight champion of world.
“They mentioned that I’m not a 12-round fighter. I ain’t 14 stone, I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy. It’s onerous work. This man right here is phenomenal.”
Joshua has now suffered back-to-back defeats towards Usyk, with the Ukrainian retaining the WBA (Tremendous), WBO and IBF titles he received in London final September.