Oleksandr Usyk claims Anthony Joshua ‘offered services’ to Ukraine
Oleksandr Usyk has claimed that Anthony Joshua 'offered services' to Ukraine after suffering a second defeat to the heavyweight champion.
AJ held an impressive record of 24-1 when mandatory challenger Usyk stepped up to challenge the British heavyweight for his WBO bout. Usyk had moved up from the cruiserweight division and had only had two heavyweight victories before facing Joshua in September 2021.
The Ukrainian provided an upset taking a dominant victory against Joshua at the Tottenham Stadium. AJ activated his rematch clause and despite providing a tough opponent in Jeddah last year lost by split decision.
Usyk had returned to Ukraine after the Russian invasion and taken up arms for his country delaying the rematch.
READ MORE: Bizarre Anthony Joshua post-fight rant in full after he 'stole Oleksandr Usyk's moment'
After winning the Jeddah fight by split decision Usyk was draped in a Ukraine flag when Joshua was accused of stealing his moment by taking the microphone and going on a bizarre rant. AJ delivered a rambling speech about his boxing journey and the situation in Ukraine. He initially threw Usyk's world championship belts to the floor and then claimed he was stealing them.
Since then Joshua revealed that he had rang former opponent and fellow Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko to apologise to Usyk for the rant. AJ told the Daily Mail: "Listen, I'm not perfect, it was not the right thing to have done. I didn't speak to Usyk. I spoke to Wladimir (Klitschko) and I said, "give Usyk a pat on the shoulder and I apologise."
Usyk's team are currently locked in talks with Tyson Fury's camp to arrange a heavyweight unification contest amid claims that the Gypsy King is 'not ready' to take on the Ukrainian.
Talking to Parimatch Ukraine, Usyk has now claimed that Joshua had offered 'his services' to his nation amid the Russian invasion after their second fight. Usyk said: "I know that Anthony [Joshua] called Wladimir Klitschko and asked how he could be useful to Ukraine or help and I have double respect for him for that. So, that’s where it comes in; boxing and helping.”
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After two defeats Joshua will be hoping to put his heavyweight career back on track with a fight against Jermaine Franklin in London on April 1.
The 33-year-old has recruited new trainer Derrick James ahead of his return to the ring. James said: "The world hasn't seen the best of Anthony Joshua. I know Franklin is a really good fighter, so we're taking this very seriously. I think he [Joshua] will be the guy he is supposed to be on the night."
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