Oleksandr Usyk dethroned Anthony Joshua to become the new unified heavyweight champion of the world on Saturday night – before branding the Brit’s pressure “nothing special”.
Joshua was outclassed by Usyk over 12 rounds at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, suffering the second defeat of his professional career thanks to scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.
After the Ukrainian was crowned champion, AJ left the ring without providing an interview as he reflects on what proved a miserable evening’s work in north London.
And to rub salt in the wounds, Usyk suggested he wasn’t a difficult opponent to deal with on the night.
“This means a lot for me,” he told Sky Sports.
“The fight went exactly the way I expected it to go. There were a few moments where he pushed me hard, but it was nothing special.
“I had no objective to knock him out because my trainers pushed me not to do that.
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“At the beginning I tried, but then my trainers said just stop and do your job.
“The only thing I want to do with this fight is to give praise to my lord Jesus Christ and to say it all comes from him.
“I have been working so hard since January in preparation for this fight, it took me half a year and I didn’t see my family for so long.
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“I missed seeing them playing. I want to go home and be happy with my family and I’m not thinking about the rematch.”
His heavyweight credentials were questioned by many after testing wins over Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora, but Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight chief, has proven he belongs in boxing’s flagship division by getting the better of Joshua, who weighed almost 20lbs more.
AJ, meanwhile, will have to go back to the drawing board and reassess following such a one-sided beatdown on his home turf.
It remains to be seen whether he exercises his immediate rematch clause, which would give him the chance to become a three-time heavyweight champion of the world.