Joshua – who was signed to fight Fury last month in Saudi Arabia – suffered the second defeat of his professional career last night when he was outpointed by Usyk
Joshua lost his heavyweight titles when he was outpointed by Usyk last night in London, with all three judges awarding the fight to the Ukrainian by scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.
Usyk was an underdog heading into the fight, giving up a big size advantage against Joshua and giving up almost 20lbs in weight.
Joshua hadn’t fought since stopping Kubrat Pulev last December and was targeting an undisputed title fight against domestic rival Tyson Fury after getting past Usyk.
But he isn’t giving up on a fight with Fury after his recent loss, stating he would fight the WBC champ without any titles on the line.
He said after his loss: “The road to undisputed and all that stuff, it’s good. As I said, I’ll fight Tyson Fury, Wilder, without the belts.
“The belts are fun. It’s great, it’s legacy. But with or without the belts, I’ll fight whoever. The road to undisputed is a nice title to have and a nice title to chase.
“But would you still watch it, without the belts? That’s the main thing – is you’ve got two competitive fighters in the ring from UK soil, that just want to go toe-to-toe.”
Joshua claimed he couldn’t see out of his right eye from the ninth round onwards, with the Brit being sent to hospital after the fight for a suspected broken eye socket.
Usyk agreed to a rematch clause with Joshua before the fight, despite the clause not being a mandatory agreement.
Their second fight is targeted for February or March of next year – according to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.
Can Joshua beat Usyk in a heavyweight rematch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren also weighed in on last night’s fight, telling Sportsmail that Joshua shouldn’t think about fighting Usyk or Fury next.
He said: “He shouldn’t go anywhere near Usyk – he will never beat him.
“I thought Joshua was poor. Take nothing away from Usyk, who was brilliant, but Joshua was poor. He didn’t fancy it at all.
“In terms of fighting Tyson Fury, it can happen. Joshua losing has taken away the belts and he is damaged goods now. But people would still buy into that fight. It can happen and it can happen in the UK.
“Tyson Fury would have destroyed him inside three or four rounds. Tyson has great footwork, a great chin and his hands are as fast as Usyk’s and he is bigger – he would have destroyed Joshua.
“But he shouldn’t have a rematch with Usyk. I wouldn’t even think about it if I was him.”