Oleksandr Usyk has described Anthony Joshua as a ‘poor fool’ for his post-fight tantrum after losing to the Ukrainian in their heavyweight title rematch last month.
Usyk defended his WBA, WBO and IBF titles with victory by split decision in Saudi Arabia as the judges scored the fight 115-113, 116-112 and 113-115 in his favour.
Joshua was left fuming in the aftermath, throwing two of Usyk’s belts out of the ring and storming off before returning to shake his hand.
The Brit, 32, then picked up the microphone and went on an expletive-filled rant, discussing the fight, his career, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, before also leading cheers to Usyk.
While Usyk did not comment on Joshua’s bizarre antics at the time and appeared to be forgiving in his own post-fight interview, he has slammed his opponent now the dust has settled.
‘I thought, “What a poor fool”,’ Usyk told the USYK17 YouTube channel. ‘He reminded me of a little boy who wanted to play with a ball, but it was taken from him, so he decided to throw it over the neighbour’s fence.’
Joshua, who is set to face Tyson Fury in a mouth-watering battle of Britain in December, gave one of boxing’s most remarkable post-fight speeches after failing to regain his heavyweight belts on August 20.
‘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*** off, I wanted to be able to fight.
‘I’m stealing this Usyk I’m sorry, but it’s because of the passion we put into this. This guy to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the level of hard work I put in so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.
‘I’m not a 12 round fighter, look at me, I’m a new breed of heavyweights, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, “you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano”, I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy, it’s hard work.
‘This guy here is a phenomenal talent, we’re going to cheer for him three times.’
Joshua went on to lead the sell-out crowd through ‘three cheers for Usyk’ and also highlighted his astonishment at Ukrainian fighters being able to produce title-winning performances as war continues in their home country.