'We lost a fight but not the war' – Anthony Joshua's secret dressing room speech after Oleksandr Usyk defeat revealed | The Sun

'We lost a fight but not the war' – Anthony Joshua's secret dressing room speech after Oleksandr Usyk defeat revealed | The Sun

ANTHONY JOSHUA revealed he told his team "we lost a fight but not the war" following defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.

AJ was stunned last September on points by the Ukrainian great, setting up an immediate rematch this Saturday in Saudi Arabia.

But Joshua refused to give up and was the one picking up the pieces after the crushing loss.

He said: "Right after, in the changing room, I knew I would fight again.

"I was telling everyone, 'Come on, what the f***? We are warriors, we lost a fight but not the war. This is an ongoing battle. It's not over 'til it's over.'

"That's how I re-motivated my team. Nothing should dishearten you.

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"I have to keep that mentality for the rest of my life even if I stumble privately or publicly."

Joshua, 32, invoked his right to a rematch right away but amid Ukraine's war with Russia the fight faced delays.

It provided AJ with more time to train under new coach Robert Garcia having left Rob McCracken and his Sheffield training base.

But it leaves Joshua with only one fight in the last year and plenty of thinking time.

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He said: "It has been a nightmare just sitting on this loss for so many months.

"The time-frame does change every day, I have dedicated a lot of my life to a very tough sport.

"I will do this for as long as I can but I think I'm quite smart at business now, I will be 33 shortly and a lot will come down to how long my body can hang on."

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