Anthony Joshua WON’T retire from boxing if he loses crunch Saudi rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, insists Eddie Hearn

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ANTHONY JOSHUA won’t retire from boxing if he’s turned over again in his high-stakes rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

The Watford warrior will bid to reclaim the unified heavyweight titles from the slick southpaw in a pivotal Saudi showdown on August 20.

Anthony Joshua will renew his rivalry with Oleksandr Usyk on August 20

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Anthony Joshua will renew his rivalry with Oleksandr Usyk on August 20Credit: GETTY
Some boxing fans have tipped AJ to retire if he loses to the Ukrainian again

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Some boxing fans have tipped AJ to retire if he loses to the Ukrainian againCredit: Reuters
But promoter Eddie Hearn is adamant the Brit won't retire on the back of another loss

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But promoter Eddie Hearn is adamant the Brit won’t retire on the back of another lossCredit: GETTY

A second successive defeat to the Ukrainian could very well make AJ an outsider in the stacked heavyweight division, although promoter Eddie Hearn is adamant it wouldn’t spell the end of the British bruiser’s career.

When asked about the prospect of Joshua retiring after another defeat to Usyk, Hearn said: “No, I would be shocked.

“AJ loves fighting; boxing is everything to him. When he lost to Usyk, the amount of people in the industry messaged me, saying, ‘I think he should retire now.’

“I said, ‘He just lost to the pound-for-pound #1 or #2. He’s not had that many fights.’

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“He loves the sport, and I’m sure he’ll be around for a long time, but obviously we’d much rather win.”

Joshua, 32, was turned over by the undefeated Usyk in their Tottenham tussle last September, suffering a lopsided points defeat.

But the Golden boy of British boxing is confident of getting the better of the former undisputed cruiserweight king second time around – much as he did in his 2019 rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.

He said: “With Andy Ruiz, I think people could see things weren’t 100 per cent but you have to be strong and thick-skinned. We took our loss like a man.

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“When I win I keep it moving and I thank everybody you have to be the same in defeat. I knew I could come back again.

“Usyk bust my a*** and I have to take that defeat like a man as well.

“But I hold myself accountable, I can admit when I am wrong and hold my head up high when I am right.

“In the fight in September I was wrong and he was right and I have to reverse that on August 20.

“I have a second chance, when I was young I was getting in trouble and got a second chance and found boxing.

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“If you know me and my story you know I am the comeback king.

“You can put me down but not keep me down. Even in my tough times, I know everything will make sense in the long run.”

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