Anthony Joshua admits he felt like Muhammad Ali in first Oleksandr Usyk fight

Joshua has a chance to become a three-time heavyweight champion with victory over Oleksandr Usyk.

Anthony Joshua has revealed that he thought he was winning last September's heavyweight fight against Oleksandr Usyk ahead of the rematch next month.

The 2012 Olympic champion admitted he was shocked that he lost the fight against Oleksandr Usyk after believing he has done enough.

Joshua - who has replaced head trainer Rob McCracken with Robert Garcia - lost via unanimous decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It was the second loss of his career following a KO defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 - although he avenged that defeat in the same year.

Ahead of his second trip to Saudi Arabia, Joshua said: "I swear I thought I was looking like Muhammad Ali in there. I can show you sparring footage where I'm on the ropes leaning.

"Throughout the fight I thought I was winning but at that stage [by the 12th round] I kind of knew it was close.

"I thought at that stage I was well in the fight because it didn't seem like there was any real communication as to where I'm at; like 'you're losing this fight… you're down by two rounds'. I didn't get that."

On Wednesday's press conference, Joshua added: "It's hard to say from a head to head who's going to win a championship fight. So I don't tend to look into head to heads so deeply, but for some they could think that's a 1-0 victory.

"That's down to opinion anyway. Shout out to everyone in Saudi Arabia as well! It is going to be my second time there; first time was lit and it is going to be even better this time for sure. Going down to the old city was unbelievable.

"I am sure you have seen some of the videos on social media. Anyone that is going, I am sure you are going to be in for a great time in Saudi Arabia.

"In terms of old AJ, same old G, I'm just doing what I'm doing. Grafting away. It is a rough and tough sport.

"Fighting these lefties is a nightmare! And I cannot make the same mistake twice. I am hungry and desperate but at the end of the day how I perform will speak."

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