, , and are among those who have reacted to the Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk fight – and many viewers have been left divided.
After a tense bout, . While many commended the British fighter’s performance despite his defeat, others were left puzzled at AJ’s post-match speech, which saw him
Broadcaster Piers branded AJ’s behaviour ’embarrassing.’
‘Embarrassing antics at the end by Joshua,’ he tweeted.
‘He was beaten by a superior fighter who put on a magnificent performance of highly-sKi**ed, supremely resilient boxing. Congrats @usykaa – a great champion & the pride of his nation. Moral of tonight: Ukrainians are hard as nails.’
He added: ‘Absurd to hear people citing ‘pressure’ as an excuse for AJ’s behaviour at the end. His opponent’s country is literally at war. THAT’S pressure.’
Olympic boxer and former Strictly star Nicola pointed out: ‘I don’t know why people in AJ,s corner were telling him he was winning rounds he wasn’t last night! You need to be told when your [sic] down.’
Comedian Mo Gilligan was just as puzzled by AJ’s post-match speech, sharing a video of someone looking shocked and adding: ‘Everyone when AJ took the mic.’
Broadcaster Dan Walker added: ‘Enjoyed the fight. Joshua much improved but Usyk was too quick, too classy, too hard to pin down and just too good. No idea how one of the judges had AJ winning by 2!’
He went on to say: ‘Not sure about all that stuff with the mic at the end. AJ clearly poured everything into that.’
Danny Cipriani had a different view, tweeting: ‘Everyone is asking for AJ to show more emotion. Show his true self. Less of the media trained answers. He is growing and living in the ‘spotlight’ – let’s have some perspective. He spoke highly about Usyk in an emotional state. Fair play to him.’
He added of Usyk: ‘Fighting for your country when at war. Didn’t let the emotion get to him, faced the best version of AJ. Took some heavy shots. He is a special fighter! Special human.’
Others focused on AJ’s performance with Guz Khan saying: ‘Massive respect for Anthony Joshua. That was a brilliant effort. Much, much improved. Usyk is a special lad, and with everything going on back home for him, he was going to take those hurtful shots and see it through. Technique wins EVERYTIME, and he’s got decades of it.’
Joshua suffered a split decision defeat in Jeddah on Saturday night as Usyk defended his IBF, WBO and WBA titles with another sublime boxing display.
While the two warmly embraced underneath the Ukrainian flag following the engrossing bout, Joshua’s mood appeared to turn shortly after, lifting up two of Usyk’s belts before throwing them to the floor.
A furious Joshua then left the ring, walking up towards the entry ramp before coming back to address the crowd.
‘If you knew my story you would understand the passion. I ain’t no amateur boxer from five-years-old that was an elite prospect from youth,’ Joshua said.
‘I was going to jail, I got bail and I started training my a**e off, I wanted to be able to fight.
‘I ain’t no amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from my youth [like Usyk]. I was going to jail, I got bail, and I started training my arse off – because if I got sentenced, I wanted to be able to fight.
‘I’m stealing this Usyk, sorry, but it’s because the f*****g passion we put into this s**t ‘ Joshua added.
‘This guy [Usyk], to beat me tonight – maybe I could have done better – but it shows the levels of hard work he must have put in so please give him a round of applause for our heavyweight champion of the world.
‘I’m not a 12-round fighter. Look at me, I’m the new breed of heavyweights. All those heavyweights, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey… ‘Oh you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano’ – because I ain’t f*g 14 stone! I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy. It’s hard work.
‘This guy here’s a phenomenal talent.’
After his win, Usyk said: ‘I want to thank everyone who prayed for me.
‘I want to thank God for the help he gave me today because he did give me a lot today. My lord is Jesus Christ. I can thank you Saudi. Thank you so much.
‘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 it and came back.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Anthony Joshua for comment.
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