A sentimental After Oleksandr Usyk successfully defended his heavyweight world titles in a split decision, Anthony Joshua seized the opportunity to express his annoyance and applaud the Ukrainian.

Following the 12-round battle in Jeddah, Joshua, 32, was obviously upset. He originally left the ring before coming back to address the audience, but Usyk’s moment was stolen by Joshua’s sudden outburst.

After raising two of the champion’s belts and dropping them to the canvas, the Brit said: “Usyk is one hell of a fighter.

“Look, if you knew my story, you would understand the passion.

“I wasn’t an amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from a youth. I was going to jail.

“I got bail and I started training my ass off. Because if I got sentenced, I wouldn’t be able to fight. I bust my case.

“I’m stealing this Usyk, sorry, but it’s because of the passion we put into this.

“I could have done better [tonight], but it showed the hard work he must have put in to beat me. Please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.

“I’m not a 12-round fighter. Look at me! I’m a new breed of heavyweight. Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston… they say ‘he doesn’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano’.

“That’s because I am 18 stone, I am heavy. It’s hard work.

“This guy here is a phenomenal talent. We are going to cheer for him.”

Addressing Usyk directly, Joshua added: “I was studying Ukraine and all the champions that have come from your amazing country. I’ve never been there.

“I don’t know what’s happening there but I know it’s not nice. For Usyk to be champion, under those circumstances, please raise your hands.”

With Joshua awarded the fight 115-113 on one of the scorecards, Usyk got the nod from the other two judges who scored it 115-113 and 116-112 in his favour.

The unified champ, who added the vacant Ring Magazine title to his IBF, WBO and WBA Super gold, said: “I want to thank everyone who prayed for me. I want to thank God for the help he gave me because he did give me a lot today.

“I devote this victory to my family, my country, my team, to all the military defending this country. Thank you so much.

“This is already history. Many generations are going to watch this fight, especially the round when someone tried to beat me hard but I stood and came back.”

Usyk also had a message for Tyson Fury, who has until Friday to decide whether or not he wishes to vacate the WBC title.

“I’m sure that Fury is not retired yet. I’m sure, I’m convinced he wants to fight me’,- He added.


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