# Analysis
Casey on Boxing: The duality of Anthony Joshua, and his exciting-looking third act
Gavan Casey explores what might be next for Joshua following back-to-back defeats to Usyk.

LAST UPDATE | Aug 24th 2022, 12:03 PM


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THAT NOBODY IN his team interjected upon Anthony Joshua’s cringey post-fight soliloquy was illustrative of how it came to be at all.

The more he droned on, the more I received text messages telling me that he had lost the plot, that he was surely concussed, that he was ‘pulling a Kanye West’.

My own theory is that this was simply a case of Joshua’s Main Character Syndrome flaring up.

The 32-year-old is the chief protagonist not only of his own movie but of the lives of so many others: friends, hangers-on, several employees; and even to some degree his promoter, Eddie Hearn, who acknowledged post-fight that his own life might look a lot different if ‘AJ’ hadn’t gone on to become a British sporting-cultural juggernaut in their nine years working together.

In his first two acts as a pro boxer, Joshua has carefully curated a public image which — combined with his unquestionably brilliant abilities as a boxer — has seen him become a walking billboard, his sponsors including Under Armour, Jaguar Land Rover, Beats by Dre and Hugo Boss. He’s probably already worth north of €100m and recently signed a deal with the sports streamer, DAZN, to the value of all of that again.

Anthony Joshua is his own boss and he can do virtually anything he wants in the world, unopposed. But on Saturday, for the second time in 11 months, Oleksandr Usyk told him, simply, ‘No’.

unnamed-10 Hassan Ammar Hassan Ammar

In Jeddah, Joshua learned that for as long as Usyk, 35, continues to box, he will be a subordinate in his day job. He realised that when you’re in the boxing ring with the Ukrainian heavyweight master, no matter how hard you try, you will wind up doing what Usyk wants you to do. And as he watched a wide-eyed, toothy Cossack take a lighter to the comeback story he had so painstakingly penned since their first encounter last September, he was forced to contend with the reality that the antagonist in his movie is actually the hero of a slightly superior Ukrainian picture.

Two minutes is not enough time to process all of this devastating information, particularly while physically and mentally exhausted to a degree that most of us will never understand. So, when Joshua firstly made a beeline out of the ring without saying anything, his team should have pressed their hands against his backs and ensured that he kept going.

That nobody had the stones to interrupt him when he pulled a U-ey, took the mic and hijacked Oleksandr Usyk’s moment told its own story…

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