Anthony Joshua’s rival Oleksandr Usyk reveals he fell asleep after ‘really’ tough first fight as Saudi rematch looms

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OLEKSANDR USYK was so knackered after beating Anthony Joshua that he took 40 snaps immediately after the fight.

The undefeated Ukrainian took part in a boxing masterclass during his fight between Tottenham and AJ last September to win the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles.

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Oleksandr Usyk dethroned Anthony Joshua with a masterful performance last SeptemberCredit: GETTY
The undefeated Ukrainian took out AJ for 12 straight rounds

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The undefeated Ukrainian took out AJ for 12 straight roundsCredit: Reuters
But the Ukrainian didn't have crazy parties.  after the fight, fall asleep at the hotel

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But the Ukrainian didn’t have crazy parties. after the fight, fall asleep at the hotelCredit: Reuters

Usyk, the skilled southpaw, jumped in and fought his way to a famous unanimous decision victory, which left him struggling to celebrate after returning to the hunt hotel.

The 35-year-old told Boxing Scene: “It was a really tough fight for me.

“Everyone keeps saying it was an easy walk, but no, it wasn’t. It was a hard fight for him and for me.

“After the fight, I came back to the hotel and took some food and fell asleep sitting [up].”

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Former undisputed heavyweight champion Usyk is preparing to face Joshua again in a multi-million pound Saudi showdown next month.

The pair’s blockbuster rematch was thrown into major doubt in February after Russia invaded Ukraine, although Usyk eventually managed to leave his war-torn homeland to prepare for the fight .

The proud Ukrainian said: “I just prayed.

“I didn’t want to leave Ukraine, but I visited my friends in the army and visited them in the hospital.

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“All were asking me to participate in this fight, to take the rematch and to fight for the whole Ukrainian country.

“Even my wife, I wanted to send her and my children out of Ukraine, but she said she wouldn’t go. [She said,] “I wouldn’t go, and that’s it.”

Joshua, 32, has called on world champion coach Robert Garcia for his potentially decisive rematch with Usyk.

And promoter Eddie Hearn has urged the Briton to stick with the champion for a second time.

He said: “I don’t think you can just be aggressive against Oleksandr Usyk, but you definitely have to be aggressive.

“He has to let his hands go more. He has to damage Oleksandr Usyk whenever he can and he has to get him out of his rhythm.

“I don’t think Oleksandr Usyk likes getting hit.

“I don’t think he liked getting hit first in the first fight and he didn’t get hit much.

“So AJ has to take risks when they come and he has to be smarter. But he has to let go.”

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