Anthony Joshua maintains upbeat demeanor even in defeat
One of the most consistent talking points that Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-2, 22 KO’s) injects into the public arena is bringing respectability to the sport of boxing. Due to this desire, AJ is constantly attempting to carry himself with pride and dignity. While this is easy to do when times are gravy and the wins are rolling in, it is not so easy when the cards are not falling your way. Now, Joshua has suffered the second loss of his professional career. This time the UK darling lost his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KO’s).
Just two years ago, Joshua gave up all his belts to Andy Ruiz Jr. Luckily for him, on that occasion, AJ was able to get swift revenge and recaptured his titles in an immediate rematch. Only time will tell if the unseated champion can recover his hardware for a second time. There is one distinct, immediate difference between the two losses, however. When the amiable bruiser lost this first prizefight to Ruiz, he never left the ring until after conducting his live post-fight interview.
This time, after being out-boxed, bloodied and demoralized by the Ukrainian warlord, Joshua quickly exited the ring. He rushed away with the haste of someone who heard the gunfire of chemically imbalanced street toughs. It stood out as a rather glaring shift in demeanor and protocol. This is not to say that it was not understandable. Joshua had just suffered a crushing loss at home and this was no doubt a crippling blow. Nevertheless, AJ did double-back and reach out to his fans and the boxing public in general on social media. Via his InstaGram account, the former world champion admitted that he was in a painful place but was keeping a stiff upper lip about himself. It will be very interesting to see if Joshua enacts his rematch clause.
By: Bakari Simpson