New unified heavyweight champion of the world, Oleksandr Usyk, does not agree with the criticism directed by some towards the man he dethroned, Anthony Joshua, as he prepares for a rematch with ‘AJ’ in 2022.
Usyk strode confidently into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England last month despite being considered the underdog, wearing the eye-catching ring gear of innovative clothing manufacturers Jaxet on his way to the ring and wearing the WBA, WBO and IBF title belts on his way out following a fantastic performance over 12 rounds to take a unanimous decision over the home hope.
Usyk’s deserved win led to a sustained postmortem of the former two-time unified champ in the wake of his defeat, especially from British media. However Oleksandr told DAZN in an exclusive interview provided by Jaxet that Joshua’s efforts were far from sub-par.
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“It's unfortunate to hear that they are being harsh on Joshua's performance, because I was there in the ring with him and he was very good,” Usyk explained.
“I really do not know where they find grounds for criticism. It was truly a brilliant fight.
“I am now preparing for another challenging match against him next year and I will need to be at my best to keep my championships.”
While defeat changed many’s perception of Joshua, and has seemingly prompted him to seek changes in his coaching staff and training approach in turn with a guaranteed rematch in his contract, life as a two-weight multi-belt champion is no different to usual for Usyk.
He said: “The day after I won the heavyweight championships, I felt calm. Now, a month later, I feel the same.
“I am very proud to be the new champion but I mostly focus on just living my life and continuing to train hard in the gym in anticipation of the rematch.”
Talk that ‘AJ’ could replace Rob McCracken with one of several world-class trainers as he attempts to once again avenge a professional loss hasn’t affected Usyk’s focus for his first championship defence at the maximum weight, either.
“I am not sure who will train Joshua for the rematch,” said Usyk. “I have seen the speculation about who he may hire for next year but it does not matter to us who trains him.
“Our goal is to be prepared for everything and I train to improve my own chances, not based on my opponent.
“He also promised to be more aggressive and dangerous in the rematch. If that is the case, great. I’d be glad to experience that side of Joshua. I am sure it will be another brilliant fight.”
JAXET is an innovative brand founded in 2021 by Artur Mkhitaryan. The brand draws inspiration from space and gaming worlds, combining fashion and technologies to create multifunctional gear of the future.