Joshua aimed to become a unified heavyweight champion once more by avenging his first loss to Usyk. Despite an improved performance under the tutelage of Robert Garcia, it was not enough to secure a win. Joshua would lose once again, this time via a split decision. However, the defeat was the least of the worries. Joshua would end up throwing the Ukrainian’s belts out of the ring before taking the microphone to overshadow Usyk’s win. But during an interview with Louis Theroux, the boxer looked back at the incident with much regret.
“That was an ego and pride thing coming out. I brought this heavyweight division back – that was in me. Right or wrong, probably wrong…So I threw them [the belts] because that’s what I felt like. I grabbed the mic, I addressed the crowd. Could I have done it better? Of course I could have. I had finished a 12-round fight. I felt frustrated and annoyed. I knew I was out of the title race,” Joshua said
The defeat would sump up Joshua’s decline from a man who was on the cusp of becoming undisputed in 2018 had a fight with Deontay Wilder been made. In the aftermath of the second Usyk loss, Joshua hired Derrick James as his new trainer. Wins over Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius followed. However, it remains to be seen if the boxer can reach the heights that once made him a world champion.