Oleksandr Usyk has joked Anthony Joshua sent him to Elon Musk and back with some of his emphatic blows in their intriguing title fight on Saturday.
The Ukrainian, who previously became the first fighter to hold all the belts at cruiserweight simultaneously in the four-belt era, made history once more as he defeated Joshua by unanimous decision to claim the Briton’s WBA, WBO and IBF straps.
The contest was largely one-sided, with the judges scoring the bout 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 as the magnificent Usyk outboxed and out-fought the two-time heavyweight champion.
Oleksandr Usyk revealed the extent of Anthony Joshua’s power at a press conference in Kiev
The Ukrainian dominated to a unanimous decision victory to dethrone the former champion
Usyk has since returned to Ukraine, where the 34-year-old outlined just how powerful Joshua’s punches were during a press conference in Kiev.
He said: ‘I will not hide that there were very sensitive blows to the chin, to the stomach, which sent me to Elon Musk for a while, but I quickly returned.’
It’s not the first time Usyk has made reference to Musk since his memorable victory, having also offered the 50-year-old the space-inspired outfit he wore during his ring walk.
Usyk tweeted: ‘I’ve got a very special gift for a person who inspires me a lot!
‘@elonmusk , your customized JAXET is waiting for you – a gear equipped with the latest technologies and an exclusive art piece from the new reality.
‘Let’s express our respect to the superhero of the new world together and invite Elon to pick up his gift by sharing hashtag #ELONgetyourJAXETfromUSYK @elonmusk.’
Joshua, the significantly bigger of the two, has been criticised for his performance as he fell to defeat for the second time in four outings, with the likes of Frank Warren and Dillian Whyte left bemused by the 31-year-old’s defensive approach.
Promoter Eddie Hearn also admitted Joshua and his team got their tactics entirely wrong.
He told iFL TV: ‘I don’t know whether it was almost a rebellious thing where it’s like, “No, I’m going to go in there and outbox him”.
‘Just a terrible idea, terrible idea. But don’t forget, Usyk negates things that you want to try and do.’
Joshua, who has claimed 22 of his 24 victories by stoppage, did have moments of success during the fight, however, and Usyk – whose face remains visibly marked up – has admitted the hard-hitting heavyweight is worthy of his reputation.
It may offer some encouragement to Joshua, who alongside Hearn has already committed to immediately taking the contractually agreed rematch, with a general acceptance he will have to be significantly more aggressive in their second encounter.
Joshua has been criticised for not utilising his superior height, reach and strength
But he did have some success, with Usyk joking the Briton’s punches ‘sent me to Elon Musk’
It wasn’t enough to stop Usyk from claiming Joshua’s collection of heavyweight belts
Should Usyk prevail once more, he will look to secure the remaining WBC belt in an undisputed showdown. The strap is currently occupied by Tyson Fury, who fights Deontay Wilder for a third time on October 9.
‘We can talk about the unification of all the belts only after Tyson Fury will have a boxing match again Deontay Wilder, and they determine the champion, and after our rematch with Anthony,’ Usyk said.
‘Of course, I would like very much to have this unification match.’
Though it’s the sole title missing from his collection, Usyk does now have a green belt to his name after Vitali Klitschko gave him an honorary WBC strap.
The retired boxer and now Mayor of Kiev presented his fellow Ukrainian with the belt in his office.
Klitschko, alongside his brother Wladamir – who lost to Joshua in 2017 – was also highly successful at heavyweight, winning 45 of 47 outings and bowing out as WBC champion in 2013.
Vitali Klitschko (left) presented Usyk with an honorary WBC belt on his return to Ukraine