Anthony Joshua suffered another loss to Oleksandr Usyk after awarding the Ukrainian WBA, IBF and WBO champion a split decision, but the 32-year-old is determined to keep fighting.
Here, the PA news agency examines the questions arising from Saturday’s gripping clash in Jeddah.
What does the loss mean for Joshua?
After topping the heavyweight division, he now faces a period of rebuilding with the ultimate goal of becoming a three-time champion.
It was a far tougher fight for Usyk this time around as Joshua showed his courage and discipline to challenge to the final bell but the fact remains that the Ukrainian southpaw operates at a different level.
A unification fight with Tyson Fury is now the most anticipated fight in boxing.
Who will Joshua fight?
As Usyk and Fury look to become the undisputed champion, Joshua will aim to reel off the victories that will boost his confidence and open a path back into title contention.
The plan is for him to fight again in December and stay busy with up to four sorties next year. Expect a vote battle or two before Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte and Joe Joyce come into view.
Is his legacy tarnished?
A look at his most recent file suggests so. He has now lost three of his last five fights. There’s no shame in falling against a pound-for-pound king like Usyk, but those defeats have cost him his place at the top of the table.
Further down he collapsed in one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history when he was stopped by Andy Ruiz Jr. in the seventh round, though he avenged that result.
For the second Usyk meeting alone, Joshua earned over £30m so he will eventually retire a wealthy man whilst his role in sparking renewed interest in British boxing as a fighter with crossover appeal is undeniable but if the Era is analyzed, Usyk and Fury are the names that will stand out.
Will Usyk and Fury happen?
The appetite to see the undefeated heavyweight rivals clash is huge and all roads lead to them meeting at some point, with Riyadh seen as an early contender to host the event.
Fury announced his retirement again last week, but shortly after Usyk brought down Joshua for a second time, he called out the 35-year-old, who replied that he would quit boxing if the fight didn’t go ahead.
Lennox Lewis was the last undisputed world heavyweight champion in 1999 and both Usyk and Fury are striving for their own greatness. However, due to her clumsy style, it could be an ugly fight.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/anthony-joshua-oleksandr-usyk-wbo-ibf-wba-b2149786.html Joshua’s legacy is tarnished as the boxing world calls out Fury vs Usyk – what happens next?