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Joshua vs Usyk LIVE! Boxing result, fight stream and reaction as AJ loses world heavyweight titles

·36 min read
Joshua vs Usyk LIVE! Boxing result, fight stream and reaction as AJ loses world heavyweight titles

Joshua vs Usyk - LIVE!

Anthony Joshua’s second reign as world heavyweight champion has come to an abrupt end after an Oleksandr Usyk masterclass at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Briton suffered only his second professional career defeat in front of 67,000 stunned fans on Saturday night to follow his shock 2019 loss to Andy Ruiz Jr, leaving plans for a lucrative all-British unification showdown with WBC champion Tyson Fury in tatters.

The unbeaten Usyk, meanwhile, becomes just the third man ever to hold world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight level.

Joshua will be eager to quickly exercise his rematch clause in early 2022, with Fury set to face Deontay Wilder for a third time in Las Vegas in a fortnight.

There was also plenty of action on tonight’s undercard, including Lawrence Okolie providing an easy first defence of his WBO cruiserweight title against overmatches no1 contender Dilan Prasovic.

Callum Smith produced a huge knockout on his light-heavyweight debut against Lenin Castillo, who was taken to hospital, while Campbell Hatton was fortunate to escape with a win against Uruguay’s Sonni Martinez in his fourth professional fight and first over six rounds.

Boxing schedule and results

Oleksandr Usyk bt Anthony Joshua

Lawrence Okolie bt Dilan Prasovic

Campbell Hatton bt Sonni Martinez

Callum Smith bt Lenin Castillo

Florian Marku bt Maxim Prodan

Christopher Ousley bt Khasan Baysangurov

Follow Joshua vs Usyk fallout LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below and Matt Majendie at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium...

Read More

Joshua confident of winning back belts as Usyk rematch looms for 2022

‘Negative’ Joshua ‘lacked ambition’ in Usyk loss, says rival Whyte

Hearn: Joshua will need ‘big changes’ in Usyk rematch to avenge defeat

Joshua vs Usyk latest news

  • Usyk outclasses Joshua to win heavyweight titles

  • Okolie easily defends cruiserweight crown

  • Smith knocks out Castillo on light-heavyweight debut

  • Hatton escapes with narrow win over Martinez

Joshua: Fury fight can happen without belts

16:03 , George Flood

Anthony Joshua insists a lucrative all-British heavyweight showdown with Tyson Fury could still happen, even without his belts.

"The road to undisputed and all that stuff, it's good," said Joshua at last night’s post-fight press conference.

"As I said, I'll fight Tyson Fury, Wilder, without the belts.

"The belts are fun. It's great, it's legacy. But with or without the belts, I'll fight whoever. The road to undisputed is a nice title to have and a nice title to chase.

"But would you still watch it, without the belts?

"That's the main thing - is you've got two competitive fighters in the ring from UK soil, that just want to go toe-to-toe."

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Hearn wants February or March rematch in UK

02:14 , George Flood

Usyk has said he has his heart set on fighting in front of his home crowd in Kiev next but Hearn insisted the offers were already flooding in from elsewhere.

Scheduling the rematch for February or March, Hearn said: “There’s already been a few people on about staging the rematch but I’d like to do it in the UK again.”

Joshua: I’m not a sulker... we’ll get it right

02:13 , George Flood

Despite the loss, Joshua said: “I’m a different kind of animal. I’m not a sulker. This is a blessed opportunity to be able to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world. I’m not going to be going home to cry tonight about it.

“A great 12 rounds. A great experience in the ring. Then we progress from this point on. We’ll be doing it all again soon. We’ll get it right.”

Joshua: I’ll win rematch... I’m a quick learner

02:12 , George Flood

Joshua did conduct a very late press conference with reporters at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after all.

“I believe I’ll get a good win in the next fight because of what I learned in this fight. I’m a quick learner. I’ve got the chance to become heavyweight champion of the world again. I’m keeping a positive head on my shoulders,” he said.

“I’m ready to get back to the gym and put that work in. I want to get back on the grind so I can improve. The gameplan is to win.”

01:00 , George Flood

Nice to see Joshua and Usyk embrace and pose for pictures backstage.

Sunday 26 September 2021 00:57 , George Flood

Joshua tweets

Sunday 26 September 2021 00:35 , George Flood

Joshua tweeted a defiant message via his official account around 15 minutes ago.

He wrote: “Keep positive even if the world’s crumbling in front of you!

“London I love you & thank you each and every time!”

Whyte: Negative Joshua lacked ambition

Sunday 26 September 2021 00:00 , George Flood

“I said if Joshua tried to box he was always going to lose,” Joshua rival Dillian Whyte told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“If he had come out and bullied him and pushed the pace and let his hands go he could have knocked him out in the first even round.

“But he came out and was being too negative he seemed like a gun shy fighter. You are the bigger man, have a go.

“I don’t know, he lacked ambition in the ring there tonight.

“The first round, Usyk landed the first strong blow and Joshua was a negative fighter. He got tagged with a left and he was worried the whole time.”

Hearn: Joshua already talking rematch

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:58 , George Flood

"He is already talking about the rematch now," Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The first thing he said was 'I know I can beat him, I know exactly what I have to do'.

"(He said that) back in the changing room just now. You talk about the rematch, but doing it is something very different."

Hearn added: "Knowing AJ, knowing the position he is in, knowing that he will have a shot to get his belts back, there is absolutely nothing else he will do other than a rematch."

Joshua to go to hospital

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:54 , George Flood

Hearn has confirmed that Joshua will go to hospital and is unsure if he has suffered a fractured eye socket.

“He will go to hospital,” Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I don’t know if he has broken his eye socket, it doesn’t look great.”

Hearn added: “He said he couldn’t see after the ninth round, obviously he was getting tagged a lot as well.

“His power looked like it had left him, the tank was empty and it was only heart which kept him on his feet in the 12th round.”

Matt Majendie at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:51 , George Flood

Unlike against Andy Ruiz Jr where he was undone by one solid punch, a too one-paced and one-dimensional Joshua was on the back foot throughout against an opponent who showed the greater guile, aggression and adaptability of the pair’s 12 rounds.

Prior to the bout, Joshua had promised to show how much he’d improved as a fighter but, if anything, he took a step back from the manner in which he won back his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts back against Ruiz and then successfully defended against Kubrat Pulev.

It was predicted that Usyk’s best chance of winning the fight was for it to go the distance and yet the Ukrainian also looked the likelier to get the knockout punch as an exhausted Joshua slumped on the ropes in the dying seconds of the final round with his right eye beginning to shut.

It resulted in a unanimous decision for the 34-year-old in front of a stunned 66,267 fans inside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in only his third heavyweight fight since making the step up from cruiserweight. In the process, he followed Evander Holyfield and David Haye in becoming only the third cruiserweight champion to become heavyweight champion of the world.

Click here to read Matt Majendie’s full fight report

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Froch: Joshua simply wasn't good enough

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:48 , George Flood

Former super-middleweight world champion Carl Froch told the BBC: “All the boxing purists who know the game, we always knew Oleksandr Usyk could out-perform AJ, out-box him and beat him on points.

“I don’t think any of us knew he could do it in such a manner. Towards the end, he took control, then started to beat him up when he didn’t need to.

“That was a boxing match and a proper fight, which in the end Oleksandr Usyk was in control of. He deserves every credit.

“Anthony Joshua did his part, he tried to box with him and work the body at time, but it wasn’t enough, he simply wasn’t good enough.”

Hearn: Usyk was the deserved winner

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:45 , George Flood

“We have obviously been here before, but this time we are here against a pound-for-pound great fighter,” Hearn said.

“The (Andy) Ruiz defeat was difficult to take because it was a shock to the system.

“This is one we knew could happen if he didn’t get it right, and he didn’t get it right.

“I don’t think AJ boxed a great fight tonight, Usyk boxed an excellent fight.

“It was all the things we worried about in the fight before, the over-thinking, trying to stand and box with him, and he took too many shots early.

“Usyk went through the gears and was a bit more aggressive than I thought he was going to be. He was the deserved winner tonight.”

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:37 , George Flood

Very honest stuff from Hearn, who admits that Joshua was simply beaten by the better fighter on the night, whom he calls a pound-for-pound great.

Full reaction to come.

Joshua hasn’t addressed the media yet as he went straight backstage to have that eye looked at.

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:34 , George Flood

“It was the very first round, seven seconds in, it was a big left hand,” boxing expert Steve Bunce has said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“From that point on, there seemed to be doubt - how can there be doubt in the first round?”

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:32 , George Flood

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:31 , George Flood

Eddie Hearn confirms to Sky Sports Box Office that Joshua went straight backstage to have his eye socket checked.

That swelling around the right eye got really bad.

He says AJ is already talking about getting back in the gym on Monday with his eyes no doubt immediately fixed on the rematch.

Usyk reaction

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:28 , George Flood

“This means a lot for me. The fight went the way I expected it to go. There were moments when Anthony pushed me hard but it was nothing special,” Usyk told Sky Sports Box Office.

“I had no objective to knock him out because my corner pushed me not to do that. In the beginning, I tried to hit him hard, but then I stuck to my job.

“The only thing I wanted to do with this fight is to give praise to Jesus Christ.

“I have been working so hard since January in preparation for this fight, it took me half a year and I didn’t see my family for so long.

“I missed seeing them playing. I want to go home and be happy with my family and I’m not thinking about the rematch.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:18 , George Flood

Usyk reveals in his post-fight interview - through Alexander Krassyuk - that today is his wedding anniversary.

Mrs Usyk is going to have to come up with some incredible plans in future to beat that!

He also shows off his gymnastics skills in the ring.

An awesome, awesome night for Usyk. Wow.

Usyk beats Joshua via unanimous decision

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:07 , George Flood

117-112, 116-112, 115-113.

All in favour of Usyk!

He’s the new WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight champion.

Fully deserved after a tremendous performance and Joshua’s second championship reign is over.

Plans for those Tyson Fury showdowns in tatters. A rematch will be coming.

Tears from Usyk, who is just the third man to hold world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight.

Remarkable.

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:04 , George Flood

To the judges scorecards we go. That right eye of Joshua is badly damaged.

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:03 , George Flood

Just unbelievable from Usyk as he batters Joshua at the end of the 12th and comes very close to a finish with AJ helpless against the ropes!

An extraordinary performance from the Ukrainian, who has surely just become a world heayweight champion.

Utterly, utterly superb.

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 23:02 , George Flood

Sublime from Usyk as he continues to take the fight to Joshua in the 12th, rather than just looking to avoid falling victim to a one-punch knockout.

You can only admire his performance tonight. Just excellent.

40 seconds left in the fight. The final 40 seconds of Joshua’s second heavyweight title reign?

There is a rematch clause...

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:58 , George Flood

Usyk absolutely flies out of his corner for the 11th round. Remarkable stamina!

Usyk looks like he fancies the finish here as he tees off on a heavy-legged Joshua.

But Joshua fires in some heavy right hands to slow Usyk.

Here comes Usyk again with some fabulous, quick-fire left hands.

Joshua looks really tired, but he is able to do some damage when Usyk is in range.

Crucial for the Ukrainian - who lands a nice right hook - that he stays light on his feet, drifting in and out.

A nice left hand from Usyk late in the 11th!

Joshua surely needs a last-round knockout here to avoid losing his belts...

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:53 , George Flood

A lot of swelling under the right eye of Joshua as well as that blood around the nose.

But Usyk is cut around his own right eye and the blood is dripping down.

Joshua on the offensive as the crowd whip up into a frenzy...

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:51 , George Flood

Usyk not really slowing down here as he continues to look light on his feet and display his incredible technical qualities.

A cagier round with not a huge amount landed, perhaps just shaded by Usyk.

Blood around the nose of the champion.

6-3 Usyk? Joshua needs to come out firing here.

Into round 10 we go...

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:47 , George Flood

Joshua jabbing well again now and teeing up that powerful right hand, which he sinks into the body a couple of times in quick succession.

But Usyk comes firing back with the left and rights, always looking to plant that big left hook upstairs.

Joshua digs in a fierce couple of hooks under the elbow before the bell.

They will surely have sapped energy from Usyk as we get into deep waters at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

I’ve got Usyk up 5-3 after eight, but this is the sort of fight where the scorecards are going to differ greatly from person to person.

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:43 , George Flood

Both men landing good shots early in the seventh, but Joshua looks more confident now and jabbing better.

But Usyk clubs in a fierce left hook to make him think.

A big left from Usyk then rocks Joshua, who is forced backwards and off balance!

Fantastic work from Usyk to end the round. He tees off and lands some heavy shots before the bell.

A fine response from the challenger after Joshua had looked to turn the tide in round six.

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:39 , George Flood

You get the sense that Usyk is starting to tire here in the sixth and he gets tagged with a hurtful right hand with 20 seconds left in the round.

To his credit, Usyk absorbs it but Joshua has the ring position now and the bell sounds as the champion tries to chase down his challenger.

4-2 Usyk?

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:35 , George Flood

Usyk works the body well again and then follows it up with a nice left upstairs.

He’s outworking and outboxing Joshua as things stand.

Joshua digs in a decent body shot that he hopes will slow the unbeaten southpaw.

Better from Joshua as he powers in a couple of thundering shots that Usyk will have felt, but appears to shrug off.

Both men stand and trade at close range at the end of the fifth, with Joshua landing what looked a big right hand.

That will lift Joshua’s spirits hugely. Usyk needs to be very careful now.

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:31 , George Flood

Joshua almost loses his footing as he backpedals fast at the start of the fourth, but that was just a slip.

A good right hand from Joshua with 90 seconds left in a rather cagey fourth round.

Good work from Joshua before the bell, but Usyk is still controlling proceedings and looks much sharper and fresher.

Better from the champion. We’ve got it 3-1 Usyk so far.

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:26 , George Flood

Brilliant work from the massively clever Usyk early in the third, popping inside with ease, landing his shots and then effortlessly gliding away.

He’s looking to exploit the body and another couple of strong punches from Usyk! Joshua looks hurt!

But Joshua comes roaring back with a powerful right hand before the bell.

What an end to the third round.

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:23 , George Flood

Usyk so light on his feet and moving really well, feinting and coming in and out of range, but he does look to get caught with a Joshua left midway through the second.

Both men try to go to the body and then try to detonate left hands upstairs, but neither quite land flush.

Joshua still persevering with the solid jab to the body.

That was a pretty even second round. Would you just give it to Usyk?

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:18 , George Flood

A positive start from Usyk, who tries to go to work from the first bell and looks to establish ring position.

Joshua tests the waters with an early right hand and scrapes another along the jaw of Usyk.

The pair’s leading hands rather cancel each other out, with Joshua trying to jab to the body and Usyk then landing a solid left upstairs.

The nimble-footed Usyk moving and feinting very well and working the angles as usual, landing that backhand, with Joshua trying to sting in those jabs to the body but looking a bit stagnant at times.

Joshua misses with a left hand before the bell and it’s Usyk who claims the opening round.

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:15 , George Flood

HERE WE GO!

Can Joshua successfully defend his heavyweight titles and stay on track for that huge Fury unification clash?

We’re about to find out...

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:14 , George Flood

Both men look relaxed and focused as Buffer does his thing.

They will touch gloves and we will finally be underway!

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:11 , George Flood

Just the final Michael Buffer intros to go.

An awful long time for Usyk to have been in the ring, just waiting.

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:08 , George Flood

No expense spared on this production tonight. Pure theatre!

AJ has his initials lit up in flames as the fireworks fly and he engages in a bit of shadow boxing on a platform while receiving the adulation of this 67,000-strong crowd.

What a ring walk! An unbelievable atmosphere.

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:07 , George Flood

A massive reception for Joshua, who looks perfectly relaxed as he makes his way to the ring draped in a white robe.

Matt Majendie at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:04 , George Flood

Some strong adhering to the Covid protocol by Oleksandr Usyk as he arrives wearing what looks like an astronaut helmet.

He’s met with boos, which also met the Ukrainian national anthem but have since tailed off.

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:03 , George Flood

Usyk sporting some sort of helmet and a glowing jacket as he quickly makes the long, long walk to the ring.

No shortage of pyrotechnics on display.

A huge production at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tonight for one of the very biggest sporting events held in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:00 , George Flood

The legendary Michael Buffer on the mic as usual for these massive events, introducing Usyk first.

More boos from the Joshua fanatics...

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:57 , George Flood

Here come the national anthems. Ukraine’s up first, with Usyk pictured deep in thought backstage on the big screens.

As well as Vitali Klitschko and Vasyl Lomachenko, a certain Andriy Shevchenko is another huge Ukrainian star in attendance tonight to support their friend and compatriot.

Now time for God Save the Queen...

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:53 , George Flood

‘Sweet Caroline’ is belted out around the jumping Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which is lit up by the screens of 67,000 phones.

Ring walks on the way! An incredible sense of anticipation.

Joshua ready to cut it short or go the distance

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:51 , George Flood

Oleksandr Usyk is comfortably the best fighter that Anthony Joshua has faced since first becoming heavyweight world champion, writes Matt Majendie.

But the Londoner is confident he can either cut short his opponent’s night in London tomorrow or else outbox one of the most technically gifted fighters in the sport if the bout goes the distance.

Joshua faces the toughest challenge since taking on Usyk’s countryman Wladimir Klitschko back in 2017 but believes he will get another Ukrainian win under his belt at Tottenham Hotpsur Stadium.

“You always aim to prepare for a 12-round fight but hope to cut it short,” he said. “You aim to knock people out. But I can outbox him, of course I can and I can out strength him.”

Click here to read the full article

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Almost time!

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:50 , George Flood

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:45 , George Flood

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:41 , George Flood

Speaking of people on enemy territory tonight, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has just been interviewed on Sky Sports, who are having to do their best to bridge the long gap to the main event with the Smith and Okolie fights having finished so quickly.

The England star goes for Joshua in six.

Nobody backing Usyk so far. I haven’t spotted his great pal and compatriot Vasyl Lomachenko just yet.

Hang on, there’s big Vitali Klitschko. Another of Ukraine’s legendary boxers, who now serves as the mayor of Kiev if I’m not mistaken.

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:37 , George Flood

What an atmosphere!

Joshua gets the backing of Team GB super-heavyweight Olympic bronze medallist Frazer Clarke on Sky Sports.

Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:31 , George Flood

Really looking forward to this main event.

No outcome really seems beyond the realms of possibility at this stage.

I’ve gone for a Joshua stoppage in round nine, but you could see him finishing it much earlier if he’s really on song and the smaller Usyk simply can’t handle the power on only his third heavyweight appearance.

But unbeaten lefty southpaw Usyk is so tricky and so skilled that you could also see him outboxing and outworking AJ if he’s on top form, but avoiding those big shots over 12 rounds is very difficult indeed.

Can’t wait!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

And still!

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:25 , George Flood

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Matt Majendie at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:17 , George Flood

The atmosphere is building nicely as House of Pain’s Jump Around plays out loudly.

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium looks pretty much at capacity with the odd celebrity now slipping into their seats, among them Mo Farah.

A potentially great fight looming with what looks like a proper test for Anthony Joshua. Fighters due out at the very specific time of 10.12pm.

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:15 , George Flood

Idris Elba is among the celebrities at ringside on a memorable night in N17.

The Arsenal fan admits how impressed he is by the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on his first visit!

Fellow Gunners supporter Mo Farah also in attendance behind enemy lines.

Joshua vs Usyk up next

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:11 , George Flood

Just the main event to come now in north London!

A brilliant, brilliant atmosphere building.

Okolie vs Prasovic

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:04 , George Flood

Some of these mandatories really need to be looked at, don’t they?

An enormous gulf in class between Okolie and Prasovic - who wanted none of that power - and not much of a test for the former or a fitting co-main event on a huge night such as this.

You wonder how long it will be before Okolie moves up to heavyweight.

But for now he’ll have his eyes on conquering at cruiserweight, with bouts against the likes of fellow champions Ilunga Makabu, Arsen Goulamirian and Ryad Merhy.

The Maris Breidis fight would be great.

Okolie vs Prasovic

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:01 , George Flood

Prasovic is down again holding his stomach with just over a minute left in round three!

A brutal left hook to the body lashed in from the powerful Okolie.

No chance Prasovic is getting up from this.

A very simple night’s work for Okolie, who provides an emphatic first defence of his WBO cruiserweight title.

Okolie vs Prasovic

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:59 , George Flood

Prasovic is very grateful indeed to hear that bell at the end of the second.

It was a thundering counter right hand around the temple that did the damage from Okolie, with Prasovic very unsteady before appearing to go down to avoid the following onslaught as the champion tried to follow up with a heavy uppercut.

Okolie tries for the finish to no avail, whispering something in Prasovic’s ear in the process.

Prasovic was looking okay before that, if a bit nervy and limited. He hasn’t landed anything really so far.

Okolie vs Prasovic

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:57 , George Flood

Prasovic is down with 30 seconds left in the second round!

Can Okolie finish the job early?

Okolie vs Prasovic

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:54 , George Flood

A cautious start with Okolie throwing out that signature long left jab from distance, landing it upstairs and to the body, and Prasovic waits for an opportunity to come inside.

Okolie misses with a swinging right hand and both men dig in body punches during a final clinch prior to the bell.

Okolie vs Prasovic

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:50 , George Flood

Here we go!

Okolie vs Prasovic

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:47 , George Flood

Okolie - who matched mentor Joshua by claiming a world title in only his 16th professional contest - is revelling in the adulation as he takes his time getting out to the middle.

A fabulous atmosphere inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which has filled up very nicely.

What a venue.

Okolie vs Prasovic

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:45 , George Flood

Prasovic has the Montenegrin flag draped around his neck as he makes his way to the ring.

The 26-year-old WBO no1 contender is 15-0 as a pro with 12 knockouts, but there’s no one of any note on his record, so it’s tough to gauge what sort of threat he could pose to Okolie tonight.

If he meets the sort of dominant performance we saw from ‘The Sauce’ at Wembley Arena back in March, he’ll be in for a tough, tough night.

Joshua column: ‘I will fight anybody, I would even take on King Kong’

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:37 , George Flood

Anthony Joshua has been writing for the Evening Standard all week in advance of tonight’s tough test.

Check out his last pre-fight dispatch from Friday...

I’m glad I’d already made it to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before fight week before because the place blew me away.

We were doing some pictures to publicise the fight back in the summer and I remember taking time to kneel on the middle of the pitch and say a quick prayer.

Yesterday, it looked a little different. The ring’s taking shape, the seating – it’s looking very different to on a match day I’d imagine – and the crowd’s going to have the intensity of my previous big nights at Wembley.

The way the stadium’s been built and the crowd are on top of you, the atmosphere could be even more electric.

Stepping inside, seeing the fight posters, you get a little buzz, not of apprehension because, after all, this is my job but of excitement because I love to fight, I believe I was born to fight.

Click here to read Anthony Joshua’s pre-fight column in full

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Okolie vs Prasovic up next

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:30 , George Flood

Only one more fight left on tonight’s undercard before Joshua vs Usyk.

Hackney’s Lawrence Okolie provides the first defence of the WBO world cruiserweight title he claimed with a dominant six-round stoppage of Krzysztof Głowacki back in March.

He’s up against unbeaten mandatory challenger Dilan Prasovic from Montenegro.

Hatton beats Martinez

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:20 , George Flood

Or not!

The referee has it 58-57 in favour of Hatton, who is a very lucky boy indeed to avoid an early loss on his record.

Martinez can feel incredibly hard done by, but it appears he has accepted the result.

Hatton understandably frustrated by a below-par performance in his post-fight interview.

Plenty of time to learn and improve for the 20-year-old, however.

Hatton vs Martinez

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:18 , George Flood

Another strong round to close from Martinez, who lands some heavy blows before the bell and continues his showboating.

He’s surely done enough to spring an upset in what was a really entertaining, action-packed encounter.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Hatton vs Martinez

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:14 , George Flood

Martinez showboating in the penultimate round as he continues to land the better, heavier punches. His uppercut is a real weapon.

Does Hatton need a knockout in the sixth?!

Hatton vs Martinez

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:11 , George Flood

Martinez is causing Hatton a number of problems here and rips in another gorgeous body shot in the fourth.

Good action and a relentless tempo in this bout, but Hatton needs to get working more consistently behind that useful double jab.

Martinez’s confidence shows as he chooses to stand between rounds.

Can he pull off a shock win here?

Hatton vs Martinez

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:07 , George Flood

Better work from Hatton in the third - so much nervous energy evident.

But Martinez is still landing plenty of his own shots and looks really confident, working the body nicely.

Fascinating stuff, halfway through the bout.

Hatton vs Martinez

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:03 , George Flood

Perhaps understandably, Hatton looks too eager to impress on what is by far the biggest stage of his young career to date.

Martinez has a decent engine and looks much better than expected.

Hatton in a battle here through two of six rounds.

Hatton vs Martinez

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:57 , George Flood

Well, that didn’t quite go as planned.

Hatton’s defence has been notably sloppy at times in his early pro career and he was caught by an initial right uppercut in that opening round before more pressure from Martinez, who landed another sharp uppercut.

Not a good start from Hatton at all.

Hatton vs Martinez

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:53 , George Flood

Manchester City anthem Blue Moon quickly gives way to Oasis - ah, the memories! - and Hatton Jnr is on his way to the ring.

This is his fourth professional fight in six months since making his debut against Jesus Ruiz back in March.

Hatton has also beaten Levi Dunn and Jakub Laskowski, with all his lightweight wins so far coming on points. He’s yet to drop a single round.

Martinez, meanwhile, is 2-4.

Hatton vs Martinez next

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:50 , George Flood

Can’t Stop by the Red Hot Chili Peppers greets Uruguay’s Sonni Martinez, who is the opponent for the highly-rated Campbell Hatton’s first six-rounder.

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:45 , George Flood

A few boos at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the cameras show Oleksandr Usyk’s arrival.

A very difficult man to dislike!

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:42 , George Flood

Matt Majendie at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:37 , George Flood

Big cheer rings out at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the arrival of Anthony Joshua on the big screen.

He looks mightily relaxed as he has done all week. Stadium filling up and the atmosphere building nicely with it.

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:36 , George Flood

Anthony Joshua is in the house!

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is filling up nicely as AJ appears on the big screens arriving at the venue with Oasis’ Rock N Roll Star blaring out.

Campbell Hatton’s fourth professional bout on the way...

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:32 , George Flood

Eddie Hearn has tweeted to confirm that Lenin Castillo is responsive and now on his way to hospital.

Huge credit to the medics there, who were so quick to act.

Smith vs Castillo

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:25 , George Flood

Applause for Castillo as he is taken away from the ring and to hospital. We’ll bring you any updates on his condition as soon as we get them.

MC David Diamante then officially announces Smith as the winner, but no real celebrations after those worrying scenes.

Smith vs Castillo

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:22 , George Flood

Smith’s joy at victory there quickly turned into concern for his stricken opponent.

The stretcher is being slowly slid under Castillo, whom the Sky commentary team report has been moving his hands.

The medics were on the scene very quickly and are clearly taking all the necessary precautions.

Praying Castillo is okay. That was horrid.

Smith vs Castillo

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:18 , George Flood

A solid enough start from Smith in the opening round. He’s then told by his corner to keep going to the body and not worry about the head for the moment.

Castillo is down after a huge right hand early in the second and his leg begins twitching horribly on the canvas.

The fight is rightly waved off straightaway as Castillo quickly receives medical attention.

Smith doesn’t celebrate as the stretcher is brought into the ring.

Smith vs Castillo

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:12 , George Flood

Castillo has obviously been lined up as an opponent that Smith will be expected to beat on his debut at this weight.

The 2008 Olympian, 33, is 21-3-1 as a pro, as well as a former Latino and NABO champion.

Castillo also went 12 rounds with Dmitry Bivol in a WBA world title fight in Chicago in October 2019, on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight debut against late replacement opponent Chazz Witherspoon.

However, he was comprehensively outboxed by the talented Russian and dropped in the sixth, eventually losing widely on the cards 120-107, 119-108, 119-108.

Smith vs Castillo next

Saturday 25 September 2021 19:07 , George Flood

The action comes thick and fast at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium!

Next up it’s Liverpool’s Callum Smith, the former super-middleweight world champion who moves up a division at long last and makes his light-heavyweight debut against the Dominican Republic’s Lenin Castillo.

This is Smith’s first outing since being outboxed by Canelo Alvarez in Texas in December.

AND THE NEW! Marku beats Prodan via split decision

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:59 , George Flood

We go to the judges: 99-91 Prodan (!!!), 97-93 Marku, 96-94 Marku

That first card is absolutely astounding. What on earth?!

Marku does prevail by split decision and is the new IBF international welterweight champion.

Marku vs Prodan

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:56 , George Flood

Marku’s movement is vastly superior and his thudding jab opens up so many opportunities.

Marku lands a crisp left hand and an uppercut in the latter stages of the final round before showboating with 10 seconds left to go in the fight.

No shortage of effort or volume of punches from Prodan, who did land some good shots, but a clear talent gap.

Prodan’s face is marked up as he tries to claim victory after the bell.

Marku vs Prodan

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:50 , George Flood

No signs of Marku being particularly affected by that left hook that landed flush as he gets that stiff jab going again and puts another round away comfortably.

Two to go, with Prodan trying to unload at will now, looking for that late knockout that he surely needs.

He throws a lot and has a good engine, but looks a bit limited in terms of the variety of his attacks.

Marku vs Prodan

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:45 , George Flood

Marku can’t get through the guard with another probing jab towards the end of the seventh and is quickly caught around the temple with a stinging counter left hook from Prodan.

Marku’s legs look a bit unsteady for a moment, but he recovers quickly to his credit.

He’s comfortably ahead here Marku, but needs to keep his wits about him as Prodan comes on strong in these final rounds.

Marku vs Prodan

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:41 , George Flood

Marku is certainly the slicker of these fighters - his jab is such a stylish and potent weapon.

However, he is also known for being brash and confident and goading Prodan into action on the ropes is ill-advised as he gets tagged with a hard right hand upstairs.

Six rounds of this scheduled 10-rounder in the books, with Marku surely leading.

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:37 , George Flood

Our man Matt Majendie is in position at Spurs’ £1billion home, which is hosting its first fights this evening.

Marku vs Prodan

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:31 , George Flood

Marku landing the better shots and doing the more eye-catching work here through four rounds, though it’s unquestionably a difficult test and Prodan is throwing plenty.

Dillian Whyte has just arrived at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Derek Chisora is also backstage and Vasyl Lomachenko will also be in attendance to support friend and compatriot Usyk.

Marku vs Prodan

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:25 , George Flood

A decent start to this opening bout, with the talented and busier Marku jabbing and moving well to take the opening round.

Prodan came back well in the second, however.

Prodan has just hit the deck in round three, but the referee was quick to signal that it was a slip rather than caused by any shot from Marku.

Undercard underway

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:21 , George Flood

The main undercard is off and running at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with the fiery Albanian welterweight Florian Marku battling Romania’s Maxim Prodan for the IBF international title.

Earlier, Christopher Ousley won a decision against Khasan Baysangurov to claim the vacant WBA intercontinental middleweight belt, with scores of 95-95, 97-94, 97-94.

Joshua vs Usyk prediction

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:15 , George Flood

The gifted Usyk certainly has the technical skills to make tonight an uncomfortable night for Joshua, who will need to box smartly and be fully switched on to contend with the threat posed.

However, the Ukrainian lacks the power and size to really hurt the champion, while his lack of heavyweight experience is also likely to be a factor, though Joshua has commended his rival for jumping in “at the deep end”.

Despite slimming down, AJ still has an obvious power and size advantage here and we are backing him to inflict Usyk’s first pro defeat with a stoppage in the second half of the fight. Let’s say round nine.

That would be a 25th win from 26 for Joshua, with a 23rd stoppage.

How to watch Joshua vs Usyk

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:14 , George Flood

TV channel: In the UK, Joshua vs Usyk is available to watch via pay-per-view on Sky Sports Box Office at a cost of £24.95.

Live stream: Those that have purchased the fight can also watch live online via the downloadable player or Sky Sports Box Office app.

Date, time, venue and ring walks

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:14 , George Flood

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk takes place tonight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London

Approximately 67,000 fans are expected in N17.

Ring walks for the main event are expected at around 10pm BST, though as ever the exact time will depend on the length of those undercards bouts.

Fight card in full

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:13 , George Flood

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk

Lawrence Okolie vs Dilan Prasovic

Campbell Hatton vs Sonni Martinez

Callum Smith vs Lenin Castillo

Maxim Prodan vs Florian Marku

Christopher Ousley vs Khasan Baysangurov

Daniel Lapin vs Pawel Martyniuk

Welcome to Joshua vs Usyk LIVE coverage

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:07 , George Flood

Good evening and welcome to Standard Sport’s latest boxing LIVE coverage!

We’ve got a huge main event on the cards tonight as Anthony Joshua defends his world heavyweight titles against difficult mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk in front of 67,000 fans at the plush Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Lawrence Okolie, Callum Smith and Campbell Hatton also appear on a stacked supporting bill in one of the biggest sporting events to take place in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Stay tuned for live updates! It should be some night of boxing.

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