Anthony Joshua ‘didn’t get any impression’ he was losing to Oleksandr Usyk in defeat last year

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Anthony Joshua ‘didn’t get any impression’ he was losing to Oleksandr Usyk in defeat last year
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Anthony Joshua has admitted that he believed he was winning his first fight with Oleksandr Usyk, a bout the Briton lost via unanimous decision.

Usyk took the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles from Joshua in London last September, comprehensively outboxing “AJ” and remaining unbeaten in the process.

Joshua, 32, will try to regain the belts from Usyk, 35, in Saudi Arabia on 20 August, and the Briton has added coach Robert Garcia to his team for the contest.

Meanwhile, Joshua’s long-time trainer Rob McCracken has stepped away from AJ’s coaching set-up – for the time being, at least. Furthermore, Angel Fernandez will take on a more significant role in Joshua’s coaching team.

“I swear I thought I was [winning],” Joshua said of his first fight with Usyk, per talkSPORT’s Michael Benson.

“I thought I was looking like Muhammad Ali in there… I didn’t get any impression I was losing. That’s why, when they announced [Usyk’s] name, I was kind of like: ‘Huh?’

“You need to have good defence,” Joshua added, “but I moved away from the ferocious side of boxing where I knew I could hit and stun people.

“And I do miss the days of slicing people’s faces open and hurting them, for sure, so I am looking forward to getting back to that.”

Before losing to Usyk, Joshua’s only other defeat as a professional came against Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019. Joshua was stopped by the Mexican-American at Madison Square Garden in New York City, on what was the Briton’s US debut.

Joshua avenged the loss at the end of that year by outpointing Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia, where his rematch with Usyk will take place.

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