Anthony Joshua reacts to Tyson Fury’s defeat to Oleksandr Usyk

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Anthony Joshua believes the scorecards went the right way as Oleksandr Usyk defeated Tyson Fury to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Usyk beat Fury 115-112, 113-114, 114-111 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000.

The result saw Usyk, 37, add to his undisputed cruiserweight triumph and Olympic gold medal, while keeping the Ukrainian unbeaten. Meanwhile, 35-year-old Fury suffered his first professional loss.

And the scorecards went the right way, according to Fury and Usyk’s heavyweight rival Joshua. The Briton’s reaction was caught by TNT Sports after the final bell and he immediately replied “Usyk” when he was asked who he thought won the fight.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn also revealed his figher’s reaction: “[Joshua] thought Usyk won,” Hearn added.

“He said, ‘Usyk won it easy.’ I had it quite close. Again, scoring is subjective. I thought Fury boxed fantastically well in the first six rounds. I thought he was well on his way to boxing to a stoppage or a decision, but Usyk is incredible.”

Hearn continued: “I thought Usyk won the fight. I thought it was close. I struggled to give Usyk any of the first six [rounds]. I thought Fury was in control and looked fantastic in seven, eight. Nine was obviously massive, how he survived I don't know.”

Hearn was referencing the moment Usyk hurt Fury badly in round nine, with the Briton arguably saved by a strange standing count from the referee.

“In an undisputed fight, when the guy doesn’t touch the canvas, I don’t think [it should be stopped],” Hearn said, “but [Fury] was absolutely gone.

Joshua, who was beaten by Usyk for the first time in 2021, watched ringside (Getty Images)
Joshua, who was beaten by Usyk for the first time in 2021, watched ringside (Getty Images)

“[Usyk] showed so much bottle to come back [...] I guess when you look back on that, you score it 115-113 to Usyk. Some had it wider, I’m not sure anybody had it for Fury. I thought the right man won.

“They’re talking about Usyk retiring? I don’t think so. I think he’ll fancy his chances [in the rematch]. I think Fury has to switch it up on the front foot. I thought Usyk looked a little bit tired at times. Usyk is also a genius.

“He’s so undersized, the disadvantage against a man of that size... To overcome that, you’re talking one of the best fighters of his generation.

“[Joshua] thought Usyk won. He said, ‘Usyk won it easy.’ I had it quite close. Again, scoring is subjective. I thought Fury boxed fantastically well in the first six rounds. I thought he was well on his way to boxing to a stoppage or a decision, but Usyk is incredible.”