Former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is taking the rest of the year off in order to mentally recover from the August decision loss to unified world champion Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua has now dropped back to back decisions to Usyk. 

“You saw after my last fight, I swear it tore me apart,” Joshua explained to DAZN. “I had so much riding on it, for me, the British fans, the undisputed fight. It just really tore me apart so, from a mental capacity, my close ones are telling me to rest, mentally.

“Physically I am down to ride, I am a warrior, I like this game and I like competing. But, from a mental aspect, I think people have really seen it means a lot.”

There were negotiations for a fight with WBC champion Tyson Fury, but they fell apart - with Fury's handlers claiming Joshua dragged his feet to sign the contract.

Joshua will now return in the first quarter of 2023.

There is no shortage of potential opponents calling him out.

“Even if I am not fighting, my name is getting called out every day so it’s a mental pressure of being AJ and holding up a reputation, they go hand-in-hand. Trying to do this thing - and do it properly - is tough. Boxers are rough and tough but this boxing is a lot of mental pressure," Joshua said.

“I love doing business, good business and good contracts. All that social media stuff is just time-consuming. My dance partner, the last geezer I was supposed to fight (Fury), he's a good dance partner. He handles the social media side. I think we'd do good business behind the scenes. It will happen, we’re in the same era. Just as two competitors, two fighters. He's definitely someone that's a fighting man.”