Joshua was defeated in devastating fashion by Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and Hearn has admitted that Joshua was second best in the fight and should have focussed on imposing his formerly aggressive style
Eddie Hearn has admitted that Oleksandr Usyk was the best man on the night after he defeated Anthony Joshua.
The Ukrainian produced a punch-perfect performance on British soil to dethrone the unified heavyweight king in dominant fashion.
And Joshua was fortunate to make the final bell, taking heavy damage with seconds left of the championship stanza.
But Hearn has admitted that Joshua was outclassed on the night, and he must go back to the “drawing board” to have any chance of victory in a rematch.
“I spoke to him, he is obviously devastated with the result but immediately he was focussing on training again,” Hearn said after the fight
“They are taking a look at the eye socket, but congratulations to Usyk he is an incredible fighter and well done.
“Usyk is very fit, was well conditioned and exercised his style very well in the fight and he was really good tonight and will go down in history tonight.
“This was a tough fight for AJ, getting beaten by a pound-for-pound best fighter and he will have to make changes for that defeat.
“We will have enough time, the fighter in AJ says he will win the rematch but I had it close before Usyk ran away with it at the end.
“But he has to make changes and impose his style to win the rematch, or he will lose again.
Joshua was unable to impose his reach and size advantage on the night, with Usyk’s technique and movement irresistible throughout the twelve round contest.
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But Usyk’s plan was executed to perfection, and he paid tribute to his team after an astonishing performance to silence the critics.
“This means so much for me, it is incredible,” Usyk said post-fight. “The fight went exactly the way I expected, there was a couple of moments where Anthony pushed me but it was nothing special.
“The only thing I wanted to do with this fight was give praise to the lord Jesus Christ for this victory.
“Twelve years ago my wife said yes to me, and I have marked it with this victory.
“We have been working so hard since January for this fight, I miss my children and watching them playing I want to go home before I think about the rematch. You didn’t see the best of me yet.”
Action Images via Reuters)
Joshua had one eye on an undisputed clash with domestic rival Tyson Fury before suffering a devastating loss in north London.
But he must now consider his options at heavyweight, with a rematch clause in place to revisit his new rivalry with Usyk.
And many within the boxing world had predicted that Joshua would struggle against Usyk, including Tyson Fury.
Usyk now looks set to try and challenge Fury in the heavyweight division for the undisputed crown, but could face opposition.
Joe Joyce also holds mandatory status for the WBO heavyweight belt, and could try to secure a shot at the unified titles.