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BOXING

Joshua rejects retirement talk if he fails to reclaim world titles

Anthony Joshua pointed out this will be his 12th world heavyweight title fight in a row, and at that level, losses are not shameful.

Update:
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - AUGUST 17: British boxer Anthony Joshua and Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk (not seen) hold a press conference ahead of their boxing match to be held on August 20, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on August 17, 2022. (Photo by Ayman Yaqoob/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Anadolu AgencyGetty

Anthony Joshua insists he will not be driven into retirement if he fails to defeat Oleksandr Usyk in his world heavyweight title rematch this Saturday

Joshua, 32, suffered only the second defeat of his 26-fight professional career when he met Usyk for the first time last September, going down in a convincing unanimous decision to the talented Ukrainian.

While it was considered an upset, Usyk dominated the Brit in a masterclass to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO belts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Usyk has built a 19-0 professional record, including a perfect 7-0 in cruiserweight world title fights before deciding to move up to heavyweight.

Joshua has shown his ability to respond to adversity before when he successfully reclaimed his belts from Andy Ruiz Jr after the Mexican had pulled off a stunning stoppage victory six months prior, with that rematch also taking place in Saudi Arabia.

12th consecutive world title fight for Joshua

The Englishman has dismissed suggestions he may have to quit if he fails to dethrone Usyk this weekend.

“It’s up to me at the end of the day, it’s not up to anyone else what I do with my career,” he said. “I don’t have to do this. Why do I do it? It’s because it’s all I know.

“This is also my 12th consecutive world title fight. I’ve been in world title fights back-to-back 12 times.

“It happens – if you’re fighting people at world level, you’re meeting people of world-level quality. I’m not fighting people who are below par.”

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