Joshua can respond to Usyk defeat - Klitschko

By Sports Desk October 01, 2021

Wladimir Klitschko says Anthony Joshua "can still have his time" after he was dethroned by Oleksandr Usyk last Saturday.

Usyk outclassed Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, earning a unanimous points decision to win the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles.

Joshua is set to face the unbeaten Ukrainian in a rematch following the second defeat of his career.

Brit Joshua said he has "learned his lesson" from the loss to Usyk, two years after Andy Ruiz Jr sensationally stopped him at Madison Square Garden.

Klitschko was beaten by Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster in 2003 and 2004 respectively but responded by going 11 years without defeat.

The former world heavyweight champion, who lost to Joshua in the final fight of his career, says his former rival can put his latest setback behind him.

"We have seen AJ challenged," he told Sky Sports.

"I remember my time. I lost two fights within [13 months]. To bounce back? To eventually become one of the longest reigning champions?

"AJ can still have his time, absolutely. It is all about how to overcome the challenge."

Klitschko was not surprised to see his compatriot Usyk become a heavyweight champion for the first time.

"Since 2012, I watched Usyk winning his [Olympic] gold and I watched AJ winning his gold.

"Usyk has been undefeated for such a long time, winning all the titles as a cruiserweight and now with the heavyweights. This man is something special."

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    Joshua decided to shake things up after losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

    Eddy Reynoso, Virgil Hunter and Anthony Wilson are among the trainers Joshua could recruit, while Floyd Mayweather has been giving the Briton advice ahead of an eagerly anticipated rematch with Usyk that has not yet been confirmed.

    Hearn, Joshua's promoter, told iFL TV: "I think AJ will make an announcement when camp starts, which I guess will be end of January, early February.

    "He's worked hard to get it right. A lot of people have said, 'do you think it's risky to bring in a new trainer?'

    "I flip that and say, 'do you think it's risky to not be comfortable with your set-up or your surroundings?'"

    Hearn says having a new face in Joshua's corner will not mean there is no role to play for his long-time trainer Robert McCracken.

    "He'll always be involved in some way," Hearn said of McCracken.

    "He's more than just a trainer to Anthony Joshua... he's a mentor, an advisor.

    "Those two will always talk – in what capacity, I don't know. I'll leave that to AJ to announce. But there will certainly be additions to the training team."

    Joshua was outclassed by Usyk, suffering the second defeat of his professional career after he was also surprisingly dethroned by Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.

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    Paul knocked out Tyron Woodley on Saturday, with the latter having stepped in at short notice for a rematch following Tommy Fury's withdrawal.

    After the win, Paul expressed his desire to get in the ring with either Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz, both UFC stars.

    However, the 24-year-old has now turned his attention to five other candidates, including Fury's brother, heavyweight champion Tyson.

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    Canelo, the first boxer in history to become an undisputed champion at super middleweight, was also named on Paul's hit list, as was the legendary Mike Tyson.

    UFC boss Dana White, meanwhile, was another inclusion. 

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    "It was a tough fight. I had blood in my eyes. I had the job done. I was setting the punch up the whole fight. He didn't see it coming. Like a lumberjack, timber.

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    Masvidal has a record of 35-15 and is currently ranked sixth in the welterweight division, while Diaz has a record of 21-13.

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    McGregor suffered fractures to his tibia and fibula that resulted in a first-round stoppage loss to Dustin Poirier in September.

    "I'm not fighting Conor until his leg grows back and he beats some people so we know he can even fight still till then," Diaz posted on Twitter.

    "Can I get on January card @UFC. Thanks."

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