Anthony Joshua showed he is the reigning boxing choke artist champion against Oleksandr Usyk


Anthony Joshua, the British heavyweight boxer, is now a famous artist.

A stifling artist.

It was clearer than ever on Saturday when he lost to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.

Who is Oleksandr Usyk, you ask? Exactly.

He is a Ukrainian who fought as a heavyweight for only the third time in his career. In front of a crowd of around 70,000 cheering Joshua madly at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England. Cheers, that is, until Usyk overcomes and passes him on his way to a unanimous decision victory and owns Joshua’s heavyweight title belts – WBO, IBF and IBO.

It shouldn’t be a real surprise now.

In June 2019, Joshua lost to Andy Ruiz Jr. (aka Fat Andy) by TKO, and he won a rematch mainly because Ruiz weighed 283 pounds and Joshua refused to fight on his way to a unanimous decision.

Now Joshua is expected to exercise a rematch and fight Usyk again. It is too late to justify ourselves. Of course, he’s only 31 years old. Which means he has more time to choke. But before we angry all of Britain, it’s worth noting a few points about the reigning boxing choke artist champion.

TURN BY TURN ANALYSIS: Oleksandr Usyk stuns Anthony Joshua to win three heavyweight title belts

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Anthony Joshua leaves the arena after losing to Oleksandr Usyk in their heavyweight boxing match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

He has the body of Adonis. In fact, the Greek god would probably be willing to trade pectoral muscles and biceps with Joshua.

It is beautiful, articulate and refined. The kind of guy who definitely helps the elderly ladies across the street and saves the stray kittens.

He also has the power of the name. Because England loves its boxers.

Then there is the 24-2 record with 22 KOs. But the defeats are much more glaring than the victories are glorious.

He beat Wladimir Klitschko, the two-time heavyweight champion, by TKO. But Klitschko was 41 and better prepared for a retirement party than this fight. In fact, it was the last fight of his career.

Yes, Usyk was the undisputed cruiserweight champion before deciding to move to the heavyweight division in 2019. But Joshua is three inches taller and on Saturday 20 pounds heavier and a lot more experienced in the weight division. But he showed lack of judgment even before stepping into the ring.

During an elaborate entrance, Joshua walks through the arena as if he’s a pop singer, at one point standing in the middle of a firework display and greeting fans with waves and smiles. Not exactly a black-eyed Mike Tyson wearing black boxer shorts, no socks and a white towel around his head.

It was the perfect way to prepare for an exhibition, not a fight with so much at stake. The original plan was for Joshua to fight Tyson Fury, with boxers expected to generate over $ 150 million from the hit fight. But a referee has ruled that Fury’s first contractual obligation is to fight Deontay Wilder a third time, which is scheduled to happen on October 9.

It turned out that Joshua-Fury was the mega-fight based on Fury’s victory over Wilder. At worst, Joshua would end up fighting Wilder in what seemed like an entertaining clash.

But others knew better. People who knew what became clear on Saturday.

The boxer with the build of Adonis, the sweet temper outside the ring and a country rooted for him just can’t deliver in the clutch – which true boxing champions do.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Anthony Joshua was unable to deliver in clutch against Oleksandr Usyk in London


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