‘AJ v Fury is DEAD’: Boxing fans fume after Anthony Joshua’s defeat by Oleksandr Usyk serves crippling blow to £200m super-fight with Gypsy King
Oleksandr Usyk not only returns to Ukraine with Anthony Joshua’s IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA belts having silenced the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a boxing masterclass, but he also leaves the biggest fight in a generation in ruins.
Joshua, 31, had been expected to come through the challenge of the wily Ukrainian and move a step closer to a £200million mega-fight with Tyson Fury, having seen their match up fall through over the summer.
However, AJ had no answer for the former unified cruiserweight champion’s surgical precision and speed, with the 34-year-old dominating in front of a one-sided crowd in North London.
Boxing fans have fumed after Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury was served a crippling blow
Joshua’s second reign as heavyweight champion has ended after defeat by Oleksandr Usyk
With that, Usyk has served a crippling blow to any hopes of a long-awaited clash between Joshua and Fury – a fight dubbed the biggest in British boxing.
Joshua’s second career defeat puts that fight well out of reach, while Tyson Fury puts his WBC title on the line in a trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder in two weeks.
And fans have taken to Twitter to bemoan the ramifications of Joshua’s devastating defeat to Usyk.
‘That’s it – Fury v AJ is dead,’ one fan posted. ‘Boxing did a boxing. A mandatory killed off the biggest fight in a generation.’
Joshua was outsmarted by the wily Ukrainian who won the fight via unanimous decision
The result means that Usyk takes ownership of Joshua’s IBO, WBO, IBF and WBO titles
Usyk was Joshua’s mandatory challenger for the WBO belt, with the boxing organisation insistent on the Brit fulfilling his obligation to face the Ukrainian – although they had agreed for AJ to take on Fury first.
‘Well AJ vs Fury is dead. For f*** sake,’ another boxing fan wrote. ‘So annoyed that has deaded AJ vs Fury,’ one supporter posted. ‘I prefer Usyk but really wanted to see that fight.’
Boxing politics has long blighted the biggest fights, with fans made to wait for years before Floyd Mayweather took on Manny Pacquiao. One fan predicted that Joshua v Fury will not happen until 2025.
‘We won’t see AJ vs Fury til year 2025 now… ruined it.’
It also means that a heavyweight super fight with Tyson Fury is some distance from reality
And boxing fans took to Twitter to bemoan the ramifications of Joshua’s defeat by Usyk
Meanwhile, one fan opined that boxing’s ‘flawed’ system is the reason for AJ v Fury falling through, suggesting that the sport could take a leaf from MMA’s books.
Promoters cooked Fury-Joshua too long, now it’s ruined,’ @dannyseguaratv said.
‘We often criticize MMA for not building up fights like boxing does, but boxing’s system has its flaws. Clearly shown tonight. Congrats to Usyk and also to the judges for not robbing him.’
Joshua did not give a post-fight interview following his unanimous decision defeat, but took to social media to insist he is remaining ‘positive’ despite ‘the world crumbling’.
AJ’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, says Joshua is intent on activating his rematch clause with Usyk
‘Keep positive even if the world’s crumbling in front of you!’ he wrote. ‘London I love you & thank you each and every time!’
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, revealed that the defeated champion is intending on activating his rematch clause as he bids to sit at the heavyweight summit a third time.
‘I spoke to him, obviously it was tough fight, gruelling fight, he’s not quite talking the way you’d expect at the moment,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘[He] wants to train straight away, they are looking at the eye socket. A devastating defeat, congrats to Oleksandr Usyk the better fighter won.
‘No complaints from AJ, he will come again. We have been here before, [but] that [Andy Ruiz Jr loss] was different. He was beaten by a better man on the night.
‘The fighter in AJ is saying “I will win the rematch”. I had it reasonably close in the eighth round but then Usyk ran away with it. Usyk was the deserved winner and he’s got to make changes for the rematch.’