Usyk vs AJ: Anthony Joshua breaks down in tears after Oleksandr Usyk loss: ‘I’m upset deep down in my heart’

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Anthony Joshua broke down in tears after losing his decisive rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

After failing in his attempt to win back the unified WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles from his nemesis Usyk, he was visibly enraged in the ring after the contest.

Speaking in the early hours at the post-fight press conference, the former champion was still overcome with emotion.

Attempting to explain how he felt, he faltered as he choked back tears, holding his head in his hands.

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Anthony Joshua lost his temper after losing his rematch to Oleksandr Usyk and reacted angrily by throwing two belts and arguing with his team.

“I don’t feel anything,” he said at first, as he tried to come to terms with the effect of the loss, before he had to admit, “I’m upset deep down in my heart.”

In the immediate aftermath of the fight, he had flung two championship belts from the ring, marched momentarily out of the arena before returning to grab the microphone, not initially giving Usyk, the champion, the chance to speak.

He explained that behaviour, saying, “I was mad at myself. Not at anyone, just at myself. So I thought I’ve got to get out of here because I’m mad. Like anyone when you’re angry, you might do stupid things.

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Highlights: Oleksandr Usyk used his classy skills to win a split decision after an enthralling rematch with Anthony Joshua. Watch the full repeat of Usyk vs Joshua 2 on Tuesday at 10pm on Sky Sports, YouTube, SkySports.com and the Sky Sports App

“Then I realised, this is sport. Let me do the right thing.

“Then I just spoke from my heart,” he continued. “It’s been so tough. You see AJ holding it together and I’m a hustler so I try and hold things together and I try and work hard, put things together, make sure my team’s good. But it comes at a cost, a big cost. It’ll never break me, but it takes real strength for it not to break you.

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Promoter Eddie Hearn said that Oleksandr Usyk’s performance was incredible and that Anthony Joshua wasn’t good enough on the night despite giving it everything.

“There’s a little crack in that armour. Because I took a loss and I think you just saw me upset.

“I’m a fighter,” he added, “I’m not a normal person, even though I try to hold it together.

“I was just in war mode.”

Froch: ‘He stole Usyk’s moment’

Carl Froch felt that Joshua deserved praise after a hard-fought 12 rounds, but had then taken the spotlight from Usyk.

“He got the mic, he stole Usyk’s moment but let’s not go too mad. He didn’t say anything that would have offended anybody too much,” said Froch.

“He was just trying to speak off the cuff. He put his heart on his sleeve but he did steal Usyk’s moment and it was a bit strange.

“I didn’t like the way the belts got thrown. It was a great boxing match, I thought it was a great performance. But that highlights his passion – how much it meant to him and how much he wanted it.”

Johnny Nelson also felt that Joshua struggled to contain his bitter disappointment, telling Sky Sports: “I think that was Anthony Joshua’s best performance ever because he showed heart, passion, determination. He was just beaten by the better man.

“Emotions got the better of him. Yes, he will kick himself, but you know what, the mask was off. AJ was talking from the heart, he was saying what he wanted to say, not to be commercially correct.”

But Clarke insists Joshua deserves sympathy and understanding after falling short in his attempt to become a three-time world champion.

“Passions were high and I’ve seen what he’s put into it,” said Clarke. “I’m sitting here and I feel the loss with all of them, but no-one feels it as much as Anthony right now. When you put so much into it, your life into it.

“Remember, Anthony Joshua is not a normal boxer. Everything he touches, everything he does is under the cameras, and it may be boiled over there. A little bit heated. Let’s not judge him on that. The Anthony Joshua I know, a nice, respectful human being, does a lot for charity, does a lot for other people. He just boiled over a little bit there.

“I don’t think he will regret what he said, probably just the way it happened and the time he said it.

“I know he’s a big lad and no-one is going to want to wrestle him for the microphone, but if I was there, I would have taken a dig and taken that microphone off him because, I know it would have been the right thing to do and given him a minute to compose himself.”

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