Anthony Joshua fights back tears after Oleksandr Usyk . defeat

Usyk retained his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles with a split-decision win over Briton Joshua, who outperformed in the rematch but was unable to dethrone the champion in a compelling 12-round bout .

“It’s very, very hard for me to say I’m proud of myself. I’m really upset, deep in my heart,” Joshua told reporters.

“I tried a different style… in the last fight I wanted to be a boxer, but it wasn’t good enough, and tonight wasn’t good enough.”

Joshua threw down two of Usyk’s belts after the final bell before storming out of the ring, only to return later and deliver a passionate speech.

“If you try to do things from your heart, not everyone will understand,” explains Joshua. “It was just from the heart. I knew I was mad at myself. Not on anyone, just on myself. I felt like I had to get out of here because I’m angry.

“If you’re angry, you might do stupid things. That’s when I realized this is sport. I came back and did the right thing.”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn dismissed speculation that retirement is imminent for the 32-year-old, who has only been fighting Usyk since last year.

“I’m a fighter for life. That hunger never dies. Fighter for life,” Joshua said.

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