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26th Sep 2021

Eddie Hearn claims Anthony Joshua was beating Usyk after eight rounds

Daniel Brown

“He was winning the fight through eight rounds.”

Eddie Hearn has disclosed that Anthony Joshua was officially ahead on points against Oleksandr Usyk until the championship rounds.

Joshua lost to Usyk on points, with the judges scoring the fight 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 all in favour of the Ukrainian – who became the new heavyweight champion of the world.

Despite taking the fight to all 12 rounds and ultimately to a judge’s call, ‘AJ’ looked less than comfortable against the measured and scientific approach of his opponent and was completely rocked by a thunderous left hand from Usyk in round three.

It looked as though a stoppage was a realistic possibility at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium towards the end of the final round as Joshua leant against the ropes, but Hearn stated that the Brit had already won a number of rounds prior to that point.

“I was just looking at the scorecards then,” Hearn told the media after the fight. “He was winning the fight through eight rounds.

“Then he lost every round; nine, ten, eleven, twelve – on every scorecard. That was what swung the scorecards, but they are the championship rounds.

“That’s where Usyk came strong, that’s what he did where he did wear down his opponent – probably mentally as well.

“He won those key championship rounds.”

Although his loss and consequent relinquishment of his titles is understandably frustrating for AJ, he has already started to review the changes and adjustments that he needs to make in preparation for the proposed rematch.

“If it went well then it would have been perfect but it didn’t so I can’t really look at it and have any regrets,” said Joshua, who revealed that he couldn’t see out of a swollen right eye from round nine onwards.

“What I’m happy about is I can go again and I’ve got a chance of becoming heavyweight champion of the world again. Only positives from here moving forward, I’ve had enough of looking at things from a negative point of view.

“I’m not a weak person. I’m not a sulker. I’m not going to go home [and] cry about it because this is war.

“It’s a long process. This isn’t just one fight and I’m done, I’ve got an opportunity to go back to the drawing board.”

It remains to be seen whether or not Joshua’s second career loss will have an impact on the highly-anticipated bout between himself and Tyson Fury, but if they are to fight in the near future, it will be because they want to, rather than for the belts.

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