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Anthony Joshua exploded backstage after being told to ‘keep it professional’

Marcus Chan

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Anthony Joshua exploded backstage after being told to ‘keep it professional’

Featured Image Credit: iFL TV

Anthony Joshua had to be held back by security when he reacted furiously after being told to ‘keep it professional in the aftermath of his rematch defeat against Oleksandr Usyk

Despite a much improved showing compared to the first fight, the Brit was still way short of the crafty Ukrainian as Usyk successfully defended the IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight belts via a split decision victory. 

After the fight, whilst walking back to his dressing room, Joshua was in joyful mood as footage by iFL TV showed him smiling and laughing with his entourage and a number of fans. 

However, things turned sour after a bystander was heard shouting at Joshua, telling him to ‘keep it professional’, which irked the former world champion. 

Joshua’s mood turned drastically as he angrily replied to the man and said: “Who are you talking to? Who the f**k are you talking to? Are you mad?” His security then held him back and escorted the 2012 Olympic gold medalist back towards his dressing room.

Joshua stole the show despite his defeat as he gave a passionate speech moments after appearing to throw two of Usyk’s belts out of the ring before storming off stage. 

He then marched back into the ring, grabbed the mic and said: “If you knew my story you would understand the passion. I ain’t no amateur boxer from five-years-old that was an elite prospect from youth.

“I was going to jail, I got bail and I started training my a**e off, I wanted to be able to fight.

“I ain’t no amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from my youth [like Usyk]. I was going to jail, I got bail, and I started training my arse off – because if I got sentenced, I wanted to be able to fight.

“I’m stealing this Usyk, sorry, but it’s because the f*****g passion we put into this s**t.”

Joshua then went on to praise his opponent. 

He continued: “This guy [Usyk], to beat me tonight – maybe I could have done better – but it shows the levels of hard work he must have put in so please give him a round of applause for our heavyweight champion of the world.

“I’m not a 12-round fighter. Look at me, I’m the new breed of heavyweights. All those heavyweights, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey… ‘Oh you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano’ – because I ain’t f*g 14 stone! I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy. It’s hard work.

“This guy here’s a phenomenal talent.” 

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

A heartbreaking night for the Brit as his hopes of becoming the undisputed heavyweight world champion are all but over. 

For Usyk, his bid to become undisputed now hangs on Tyson Fury, he hinted after the fight last night that he is willing to return to the ring despite announcing his retirement earlier on in the month. 

Will we see Fury fight Usyk? Only time will tell.

Topics: Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, Heavyweight Boxing

Marcus Chan
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