Former world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua has admitted he was so confident in the run-up to his astounding defeat he had not bothered asking whether a rematch clause was in the contract.
The shock of Saturday’s extraordinary upset was still palpable inside Madison Square Garden when the former champion finally spoke early on Sunday morning after suffering four knockdowns in a one-sided defeat that cost him his the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles and his undefeated record.
“It’s not expected,” the 2012 Olympic gold medallist said. “Bookies said I was a favourite. One shot on the top of the dome rattled me a bit and I tried to stay in there a few more rounds. But the better man won. Respect to Andy and I’ll move forward now.
“I didn’t even ask about a rematch clause because I was so confident I was going to win. If it’s there, we’ll go again and I’ll get the titles back. I’m going to beat him up. I’m not dwelling on it. You just correct it, you adjust, you sit down, you focus and you go again.”
The surprise result torpedoed a much-anticipated title unification fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder, who has held the WBC’s version of the heavyweight championship since 2015. That fight was, until Saturday night, the biggest that could be made in the sport today, but instead becomes a slain golden goose representing a cautionary tale for the industry on the perils of letting superfights marinate too long.
But Joshua, positively upbeat given the circumstances, took a philosophical tack as he pondered his future. “Trust me, I come from a good family, but where I was at in life, I’ve dealt with more shit than this,” he said.