Promoter Kalle Sauerland believes it was a mistake on Anthony Joshua’s part not to have taken a fight in between his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
By going straight into the rematch without a confidence-booster, Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) fell apart in the later rounds and wound up losing a 12 round split decision to the better conditioned Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The loss has a done a number on the 32-year-old Joshua’s career, putting him in a position where he can’t afford a third consecutive defeat.
To help the beleaguered Joshua right his ship, his promoter Eddie Hearn says he intends on matching him against a top 15 contender in his next fight in December.
That’s code talk for Hearn picking a bottom-level contender or a washed up guy like Dillian Whyte for Joshua to take apart for an easy win.
“If I made a criticism of AJ, he’s been sort of a GQ. He’s had that sort of marketable type, and worked a lot with those sorts in the past as well,” said Kalle Sauerland to iFL TV about Anthony Joshua.
“I won’t say it was fantastic to see him lose his plot, but I thought it showed what it meant to him. He just made a lot of money. Everyone knows that.
“It wasn’t win or lose, he gets the money or doesn’t get the money. Certainly a substantial amount of money. And you could see that he was showing the spite, the anger, and I’ve seen it in locker rooms most of my life.
“He [Joshua] did it in the ring on the biggest platform of all, the heavyweight championship of the world. I felt for him but at the same time, he has a lot of new fans who saw that side to him about what it meant. That’s what I was saying.
“I thought it was a man’s reaction. It is what it is. By the way, I’ve seen female fighters lose it in dressing rooms as well. It happens, and it’s the highest level, and it shows how much it means to him.
“I thought AJ showed real character in what he said and what he’d done. He’ll come again. He improved. I’d still stick with what I said before. He could have had a fight in between. He’ll see that after his career.
“Good on him for giving his best shot, but he’ll be back and will keep on learning. Maybe one day we’ll see a third one,” said Sauerland about a third fight between Joshua and Usyk.