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How can Anthony Joshua rebuild following the loss to Oleksandr Usyk?

How can AJ rebuild following the loss to Usyk?
© Reuters
How can Anthony Joshua rebuild following the loss to Oleksandr Usyk?

Anthony Joshua is not facing up to his first upset as a professional boxer. You only have to go back to the 1st of June 2019 to find his involvement in one of the biggest shocks in the heavyweight division. Joshua was up against Andy Ruiz Jr. who came in as a replacement for Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Joshua was the huge favourite to win the contest and sent Ruiz to the canvas in the third round. However, Ruiz got up and promptly returned the favour and the challenger took control of the fight with a series of knockdowns. Following two knock-downs in the seventh round, the referee called an end to proceedings in favour of Ruiz in what is regarded by many as one of the biggest upsets in the history of boxing.

Joshua came back from that hugely disappointing defeat to beat Ruiz in the rematch via unanimous decision and the British boxer reclaimed the unified heavyweight titles. Joshua then went on to defeat Kubrat Pulev, dropping him twice in the third round and eventually stopping the Bulgarian in the ninth round.

There was huge speculation surrounding the possibility of an undisputed fight with undefeated WBC and The Ring champion Tyson Fury. It was not to be and instead Joshua faced the WBO mandatory challenger, Oleksandr Usyk. The Ukrainian was the former undisputed cruiserweight champion but did not have any experience of boxing in the heavyweight division. Joshua was backed by many to get the job done, just as he was in the first meeting with Ruiz but was outclassed by Usyk, who claimed a deserved unanimous decision victory.

So, having suffered yet another upset in his career, where does Joshua go from here? The first thing to point out is this defeat is a lot different to the one suffered against Ruiz. Usyk comprehensively defeated Joshua and if the pair are going to meet again in the ring, it is going to be an equally tough night at the office for Joshua. Having to undertake one major rebuild is tough for a professional boxer but having to do it again, following a clear defeat on home soil is another matter.

Admitting the defeat is the first stage of the rebuild and Joshua spoke well after the fight. He offered no excuses but the loss means the undisputed title fight against Tyson Fury will not be the same as it would have been before the loss to Usyk. Should the pair stage a rematch, the betting odds are sure to look a lot different ahead of the second fight than they did the first. Will Joshua be the favourite to regain his titles or was the performance of Usyk enough to ensure he enters the ring in the rematch as the bookies favourite?

You are sure to find plenty of odds in the lead up to the rematch, in a contest that could go back and forth like a basketball match. You will find basketball betting at Casumo in addition to boxing odds and plenty of other sports on which to bet.

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