Anthony Joshua pounded his fist against the table and vowed to become a better fighter following his fairly lopsided unanimous decision defeat against Oleksandr Usyk on September 25th, 2021.
While the former Olympic gold medalist remained confident in his ability to regain his WBO, IBF, IBO and WBA titles, Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) refused to relinquish his heavyweight throne.
A more determined and bullish Joshua took the center of the ring for their sequel which took place on August 20th. The 32-year-old pressed the action, plowed ahead, and uncorked countless heavy shots on the Ukrainian star. Usyk though, to his credit, boxed effectively from the outside, resulting in a split decision win.
As Usyk’s hand was raised in victory, Vasiliy Lomachenko, his longtime compatriot, cheered his good friend on. Ultimately, however, although the former unified lightweight titlist beamed with pride as his Usyk held firm to his heavyweight titles, Lomachenko tipped his cap in Joshua’s direction for a job well done.
“He changed a little bit the strategy,” said Lomachenko of Joshua's gameplan during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “But it’s not help him because Usyk is another level.”
Presently, after successfully closing the book on his rivalry with Joshua, Usyk proclaimed that his time under boxing’s spotlight would come to an end if a showdown against Tyson Fury doesn't take place next. For the gargantuan British native, he’s spent the better part of the past five months waffling back and forth between retirement.
Having laid waste to Dillian Whyte via sixth round stoppage in his most recent trip to the ring, Fury believed that it made little to no sense to continue his career, a decision he has since reneged upon.
Officially, Fury has opted against hanging up his gloves and instead, has instructed his team to organize an undisputed showdown between himself and Usyk. Although most of the boxing world is anxious to watch both men square off in the ring, Lomachenko couldn’t care less. For the Ukrainian star, he simply wants to see his good friend become an undisputed champion, regardless of who actually holds the final piece to Usyk’s puzzle.
“I want to see next, green belt, WBC, doesn't matter, another boxer, doesn't matter.”