Former Finchley boxer Anthony Joshua keen for rematch with Usyk
- Credit: PA
Former Finchley ABC representative Anthony Joshua is keen to chase his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
The 31-year-old lost his unified IBF, WBA (Super), WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles for the second time in his eight-year professional career, this time to the skilful Ukraine in front of 65,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.
It’s a far cry from his humble beginnings. Not far from Spurs' bitter rivals Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, at the nearby Boston Arms in Tuffnal Park, is where Joshua, 19 at the time, had his first amateur bout in November 2008 with a first round KO over Nathan Brede.
In the clash of the London Olympic 2012 champions, Usyk, 34, nicknamed "The Cat", and former undisputed cruiserweight champion simply outboxed the North London favourite as he took claimed the decision from all three scoring judges (117-112, 116-112, 115-113).
Unfortunately Joshua suffered a right eye socket injury. He later revealed during the press conference he couldn’t see from the ninth round.
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While Usyk and his management team are eager to hold the rematch at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Joshua’s promoter Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn believes the second clash is likely to take place at Wembley Stadium sometime next March.
Joshua, meanwhile, praised Usyk for his victory.
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“Well done to the winner,” he said. “We’ll be back again, get back into training. Great 12 rounds, great experience in the ring. We progress from this point once again.
“It was a good experience because in adversity you’ve just got to learn to control yourself, stay on top of things, so when I couldn’t see anything, it’s the first time that it’s happened in a fight.”
For now, a fight between Joshua and Tyson Fury is out of the window. AJ will have to have a rematch with Usyk for there to be any prospect.
“I’m ready to get back to training," he added. "It was a good 12-rounder so I’ll be in a good place when I get back into training to pick up where we left off.
“I’m just looking to go in there improved, stronger, smarter and I believe I’ll get a good win in the next fight because of what I learned from this fight.
“I’m a quick learner and we’ll bounce back."