Dillian Whyte has criticised Anthony Joshua’s ‘safety-first’ performance against Oleksandr Usyk and questioned his hunger after the Brit was dethroned on Saturday night.
AJ was given a boxing lesson against former cruiserweight Usyk, who won by unanimous decision, with Joshua particularly struggling in the final few rounds after his right eye closed up and he was later sent to hospital as a precaution.
Since losing to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, the 31-year-old has noticeably changed his style and was criticised for boxing overly cautiously against Usyk, with Whyte bemused by his old rival’s approach.
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‘Why did he not let his hands go? I just thought he’d tee off! He didn’t want to let his hands go. It’s madness. He f**ked it, he f**ked it, he f**ked it,’ Whyte said after the result was announced.
‘Usyk boxed well. Joshua seemed very gun-shy, he didn’t want to let his hands go,’ Whyte continued, this time in a new interview.
‘It seemed like he was stuck in the middle of what he wanted to do the whole time. It seemed like he was always hesitating and hesitating and Usyk took advantage of it.
‘Maybe Joshua is just comfortable and will just relax now. He doesn’t seem hungry anymore.
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‘He seemed to be fighting this safety-first fight style that he’s shown in the last couple of fights. Maybe he’s just lost the dog in him, it happens sometimes.’
Despite Usyk’s impressive display, Whyte was less effusive in his praise and would happily take on the Ukrainian: ‘I don’t give a f**k about Usyk. I don’t care. I never feared him and what did he do? He didn’t knock out Joshua. He just out-boxed him.
‘I don’t care, I’d go to war with him. I don’t give a f**k about all of that. That’s the difference between me and these guys, I’ll go to war. If the chips are down, I’ll swing it out.’
Even Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn felt the dethroned champ got his tactics wrong, telling noting that: ‘He got outmanoeuvred, he got out-skilled at times, he didn’t do enough, he didn’t close him down enough, he didn’t apply enough pressure, he didn’t hurt him enough.
‘Well, he did hurt him, but after he hurt him he just didn’t jump on him. When he lost to Ruiz it was [a shock], but all this build up we knew this is possible if you don’t get it right. And he didn’t get it right, so he got beat.’
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