Anthony Joshua has expressed regret over some of the scenes that followed his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk for the unified world heavyweight title.
Despite having improved from the first fight, Joshua was defeated by arguably the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighter in a split decision.
The general consensus was that Joshua was fortunate to be awarded a 115-113 verdict on one of the scorecards, with the 116-112 to Usyk being a more accurate reflection, and the 115-113 to the Ukrainian ensuring that he was awarded a deserved win.
After the fight, however, Joshua bizarrely picked up two of the world title belts and dropped them out of the ring, got involved in an altercation in the ring, and stormed towards the dressing room before returning to the ring.
Furthermore, as he addressed the crowd, the 32-year-old swore several times, attempting to justify his love of the sport while also praising Usyk.
In his post-fight press conference, a visibly disappointed Joshua expressed his disappointment and admitted to doing some “stupid things.”
Joshua said: “When you try and do things from your heart, not everyone is going to understand.
“It was just from the heart. I knew I was mad at myself. Not at anyone, just myself. I was like I got to get out of here because I’m mad.
“When you’re angry you might do stupid things. Then I realised this is sport. I came back and did the right thing.”
The fight itself was less one-sided than their first instalment back in September, Joshua having more success when it came to troubling his unbeaten opponent.
There was a feeling that Usyk was at least two rounds in front ahead of round nine, Joshua’s best of the fight as he appeared to hurt Usyk to the body.
To Usyk’s credit, he responded with his best round of an exciting contest in the 10th, capitalizing on Joshua’s tiredness by landing at will.
If Joshua had given Usyk the final round on the 115-113 scorecard, the rematch would have ended in a draw, which would have been unfair to Usyk and prompted calls for a third fight.
Instead, both fighters can now move in different directions, with Joshua expected to return in December and Usyk left to determine whether he can head into an undisputed fight with the currently retired Tyson Fury.