Joshua lost his heavyweight titles for the second time when he was outpointed by Usyk this past weekend, but he could join a special group of heavyweights if he beats Usyk in a rematch
Joshua lost his heavyweight titles when he was outpointed by Usyk in front of 67,000 fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Usyk was the betting underdog heading into the fight, with Joshua’s size and weight advantage thought to be too much for the former undisputed cruiserweight champion.
But instead Usyk dominated from the opening bell to win by unanimous decision as Joshua lost his belts for the second time in as many years.
The rivals are contracted to hold a second fight which is likely to take place in February or March next year.
And Joshua could join a group of five heavyweight ring legends who have won world titles on three occasions if he is to avenge his defeat…
1. Muhammad Ali
Ali – who is considered by many as the best heavyweight boxer of all time – first won heavyweight titles at the age of 22 against Sonny Liston.
Ali lost his belts to Joe Fraizer in the first loss of his career but won them back at “Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman.
The ring legend lost his titles at the hands of Leon Spinks four years later, but avenge his loss the same year to win back his belts.
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2. Michael Moorer
The hard-hitting Moorer first won heavyweight gold against Bert Cooper in 1992.
He won the WBA, IBF and lineal titles two years later against George Foreman and regained the vacant IBF belt in 1996 by defeating Axel Schulz.
Moorer is also one of four boxers to win a world title at both light heavyweight and heavyweight.
3. Lennox Lewis
Lewis won the WBC heavyweight belt in 1993, defending it against the likes of Frank Bruno before losing it the following year.
The former Olympic gold medalist lost his WBC, IBF and IBO belts when Hasim Rahman stopped him in a massive upset, but Lewis would win back his belts later that year before retiring in 2003.
Lewis is also the last fighter to hold the undisputed heavyweight championship.
4. Evander Holyfield
The former cruiserweight king Holyfield first won belts at heavyweight when he knocked out Buster Douglas in 1990.
Holyfield lost his title to Riddick Bowe two years later but avenged his loss to “Big Daddy” in 1993 to reclaim his titles. He became a three-time champion when he knocked out Mike Tyson in their first fight.
The 58-year-old Holyfield was stopped in his ring return by former UFC Vitor Belfort earlier this month.
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5. Vitali Klitschko
Klitschko won his first heavyweight title in 1999, knocking out Herbie Hide in London. The Ukrainian won his second title against Corrie Sanders five years later.
After a four year hiatus from the ring, Klitschko returned in 2008 to win Samuel Peter’s WBO title. He defended the belt nine times and then retired from the sport.
And speaking in the ring after his win against Joshua, Usyk said he isn’t thinking about the rematch for now: “I have been working so hard since January in preparation for this fight, it took me half a year and I didn’t see my family for so long.
“I missed seeing them playing. I want to go home and be happy with my family and I’m not thinking about the rematch.”
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is adamant that Joshua wants a second fight with Usyk and is already talking about getting back in the gym.
He said: “He will want to go back in that rematch, and he will be the underdog in that fight but he has just been beaten by a pound-for-pound great.
“Joshua lives and breathes boxing, he is already talking about training again and he will be in the gym and ready to get back in again.”