Joshua vs Usyk rematch: Hearn states AJ will require ‘big changes’ to avenge defeat after ‘average’ effectiveness

These types of a reduction leaves Joshua’s long run at the pinnacle of boxing’s blue-riband division unsure, with designs for a lucrative all-British unification showdown with WBC champion Tyson Fury firmly off the table for now.

Indeed, there now exists the very actual prospect of that battle not going on at all, with Fury established to encounter Deontay Wilder for a 3rd time in Las Vegas on Oct 9.

Joshua will have a likelihood to avenge the loss to Usyk, with the deal for Saturday’s bout that contains a rematch clause for the deposed winner.

And promoter Hearn mentioned soon after the a single-sided contest: “The fighter in AJ is already talking about successful the rematch. It was a tricky defeat. I had it fairly near in the eighth and then Usyk ran away with it. If that happens once again, he will get beat yet again.

“Usyk’s self esteem will be sky large. He has to impose himself but when you get to the degree of AJ, there are no 10-round comeback fights or heat-ups. You are straight into the struggle. He will be an underdog in that rematch. He selected to acquire on a pound-for-pound terrific tonight, and it did not function out. He justifies credit score for that but this is sport.

“This is his existence and he lives and breathes boxing. Boxing saved him. Boxing built him and he is not going to drop out of really like with the video game. When you do is the time to stroll absent. The need will nevertheless be there but you have to be very good enough. That was an average performance by AJ. He can do so much greater but he is dealing with a pound-for-pound fantastic. You can criticise him but he is experiencing the ideal.

“There is a new unified world heavyweight champion. There is no place sulking about it. He will go all over again, but tonight belongs to Usyk.”

Joshua sustained weighty hurt close to his appropriate eye all through the reduction to Usyk, although is previously targeted on a swift return to the gym.