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Anthony Joshua confident of winning back belts with Oleksandr Usyk rematch looming for February 2022

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua is confident he will win back his heavyweight belts from Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch early next year.

Promoter Eddie Hearn is pushing for a fight in February or March with the UK an early frontrunner despite newly-crowned champion Usyk wanting to fight in front of his home crowd in Kiev.

Joshua was completely outboxed by his Ukrainian opponent, losing to a unanimous points decision.

Of the rematch, he said: “I believe I’ll get a good win in the next fight because of what I learned in this fight. I’m a quick learner. I’ve got the chance to become heavyweight champion of the world again. I’m keeping a positive head on my shoulders.

“I’m ready to get back to the gym and put that work in. I want to get back on the grind so I can improve. The gameplan is to win.”

Usyk was seen as the biggest challenge of Joshua’s career since defeating Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017.

And the southpaw, in only his third fight since moving up from cruiserweight, dictated the fight from start to finish bar a couple of rounds when Joshua looked briefly to be shifting the momentum of the night.

Afterwards, the new champion said he had his heart set on fighting in front of his home crowd but Hearn insisted the offers were already flooding in from elsewhere.

Scheduling the rematch for February or March, Hearn said: “There’s already been a few people on about staging the rematch but I’d like to do it in the UK again.”

After the fight, Joshua said he had only been able to see out of one eye from the ninth round, with Usyk going on to dominate all four final rounds and coming close to a late knockout before the eventual bell.

Despite the loss, Joshua said: “I’m a different kind of animal. I’m not a sulker. This is a blessed opportunity to be able to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world. I’m not going to be going home to cry tonight about it.

“A great 12 rounds. A great experience in the ring. Then we progress from this point on. We’ll be doing it all again soon. We’ll get it right.”

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