WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk believes his most recent opponent, Anthony Joshua, has received unfair criticism over his most recent outing.
Usyk captured the heavyweight crown in 2021, with a twelve round unanimous decision over Joshua. He repeated that accomplishment, with another points win over Joshua a year later in their contracted rematch.
Joshua, a former two-time world champion, was able to bounce back in April, with a points win over Jermaine Franklin. It was Joshua's first fight with new head trainer Derrick James.
Many observers had expected Joshua stop Franklin inside the distance, but it became a tougher contest than expected.
Some critics feel Joshua is lacking the same aggression and desire that he displayed for most of his career. There seems to be a popular opinion that Joshua's mindset was altered after suffering a stoppage loss at the hands of Andy Ruiz in 2019.
Usyk disagrees. He feels the British star needs more time to regroup from his setbacks.
"I think [Joshua] just needs a little more time to recover. He’s a great fighter and a great personality," Usyk told Boxing King Media.
"Who are those people who judge him? Who are the judges? Have they ever entered the ring? Have they ever trained and felt that pain? They have no right to say so. If you want to talk about the fighter, you have to at least once in your life get into the ring and get a sparring session. At least for one round, for three minutes. Then you will have the right."
At the moment, Joshua is slated to return in the month of August. A rematch with Dillian Whyte is being explored for that date. Should Joshua prevail, he aims to collide with former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on a December date in Saudi Arabia.