In a candid interview with the BBC recently, former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua reflected on his post-fight actions and speech following his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch last year. Joshua expressed regret for his outburst, which included throwing Usyk’s world title belts out of the ring and delivering an emotional speech that shook boxing fans, not because of its content but the manner in which it was delivered.
The British boxer acknowledged that his actions were driven by ego and pride, and he admitted that he could have handled the situation better.
He said: “That was an ego and pride thing coming out….So I threw them [the belts] because that’s what I felt like. I grabbed the mic, I addressed the crowd. Could I have done it better? Of course, I could have.
“I had finished a 12-round fight. I felt frustrated and annoyed. I knew I was out of the title race.”
The two-time heavyweight champion also delved into the pressures of attempting to become a three-time heavyweight champion. He described the burden as “too much” and revealed that he’s been affected by the narratives and expectations placed upon him by others.
Joshua reminisced about the earlier days of his boxing career when it was about passion and fun and said he might stop from attempting another title fight if he cannot deal with the pressure.
Responding to questions about his future, Joshua emphasized his dedication to boxing and his commitment to improving as a fighter. He expressed his desire to become a three-time champion but stated that the idea of achieving such a feat, which has generated significant public attention, feels overwhelming.
Regarding his next opponent, Joshua reaffirmed his aspiration to face WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in an all-British showdown. He admitted that such a challenge excites him, and he’d be “over the moon” if the fight were to materialise.
The prospect of Joshua vs. Fury is one that has been talked about for years and has been on the verge of happening in the form of an undisputed match when Joshua was still a champion.