Anthony Joshua defeated by Oleksandr Usyk in Heavyweight rematch

Anthony Joshua has lost his heavyweight world title, after a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The 32 year old was defeated by split decision, having also lost to the Ukrainian on points in 2021.

When asked about his performance at a post-fight news conference, a tearful Joshua said: “It’s really, really hard for me to say I’m proud of myself.

“I’m upset, really, deep down in my heart.”

Joshua, who won super-heavyweight Olympic gold at London 2012, won his first 22 professional fights but has now lost three of his past five contests, all of them for world titles.

He said the pressure and intrusion he faces “comes at a cost”, adding “it will never break me but it takes real strength not to break me and there is a little crack in the armour because that took a lot”.

Promoter Hearn gave a passionate defence of Anthony Joshua saying “This is someone who I want my kids to look up to,” he said.

“If he’s out in public, he gives everyone his time. He’s one of the nicest guys. He’s a competitor and winner.

“What you saw was raw emotion. A real person who wanted to win badly.”

Hearn dismissed any suggestions of Joshua retiring, saying he would like see him be more active. He wants Joshua to return in December and have at least three fights in 2023.

Joshua has fought just twice – both against Usyk – in the last two and a half years.