Anthony Joshua could return to his TATTERS career if he is knocked out by Oleksandr Usyk in their 2022 rematch.
That’s according to boxing journalist Gareth A. Davies, who believes the Briton underestimated the former cruiserweight world champion on Saturday night.
Joshua relinquished his world titles in an unbalanced defeat as he received a boxing lesson from his Ukrainian counterpart at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The meeting of the two Olympic gold medalists, the first of a world heavyweight title fight, looked like a rookie taking on a grizzled veteran as Joshua was constantly punched, pitted at will and led around the ring by his smallest opponent.
Davies was in N17 for the one-sided showdown and was less than impressed with Joshua’s behavior before the fight in his ring.
“First of all, he looks shy,” Davies said of White and Jordan. “I think it’s the result of being knocked down four times and stopped by Andy Ruiz Jr in the middle of 2019.
“Second, they had the wrong game plan, clearly because he should have jumped on him. He had to push him around the corners, he had to be aggressive.
“He was punching people in the ring, kissing mothers, you never saw Mike Tyson or Lennox Lewis do that on their way – it was a heavyweight title defense.
“He was not in the right frame of mind, he underestimated the guy in my opinion and a lot of us who know boxing said if Oleksandr Usyk is still up after the tenth round he will have does something wrong in the fight.
“He was never going to send Oleksandr Usyk; 350 amateur fights and Joshua had 35, just shows you the chasm of experience he faced.
After losing the WBA, WBO and IBF world titles, the road to undisputed titles looks even more complicated for Joshua and Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn.
With WBC champion Tyson Fury defending his title against Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight live on talkSPORT, it’s very possible that Joshua will be out of the title photo by the time the rematch with Usyk comes to an end.
If Fury got all the belts back, a fight against Joshua might well come to fruition, but the stakes are now even higher than when he lost to Ruiz on that infamous night at Madison Square Garden.
“If he doesn’t take the rematch, he will rebuild his career,” Davies added. “It’s an opportunity he has, it could leave his career in tatters if he’s eliminated.
“He can be knocked out in battle. In fact, Anatoly Lomachenko – Usyk’s coach – finally said “don’t bother knocking him out”.
“He actually told her in the corner, don’t go for the knockout because you won the fight easily and he almost knocked him out in the end.”
“But he could knock him out because it’s going to be a different fight the second time around because they’ll trade. If he wins he is back on track as he will have the IBO belts and three of the other main belts.
He added: “He can talk, but does he walk? He walked the walk the walk and he was a ghost in there and it was that simple.