Anthony Joshua, British Nigerian boxer lost to Oleksandr Usyk in a split decision during the return match where he hoped to reclaim his WBA, WBO and IBF.
It has been 11 months since the first match that saw Joshua lose his titles to the Ukrainian.
Although Joshua was much better than the first match, Usyk demonstrated his technical brilliance to win 115-113, 116-112, 113-115 at the Jedda Superdome in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Usyk, 35, kept his WBA, WBO and IBF belts to serve in the Ukrainian army to defend his country against the Vladimir Putin led invasion of Ukraine.
When the match ended, Joshua stormed out of the ring before returning to give a speech to the crowd in the Superdome.
The 32-year-old fighter in his speech confessed that skill wins boxing and not just strength.
Joshua said, “I’m not a 12-round fighter. They say, ‘he doesn’t throw combinations like Sonny Liston.’ Yes, that’s because I’m 18 stone, I’m a big guy!
“This guy is a phenomenal talent, how many belts you got bro, five? Hip-hip, hurray! I studied all your champions, what’s happening there, I don’t know, but I know it’s not nice.
“There were issues in Ukraine. Klitschko vs Williams. Usyk, under those circumstances, he became champ.
“Skills win boxing, you’re not strong, how did you beat me? I had character!
“Usyk one hell of a fighter, that’s just emotion. Please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.”
Usyk, who spoke about the fight, revealed how Joshua’s punches tried to displace him, but he had to remain resilient.
Usyk said, “This is already history. Many generations watch this fight, especially the round, when somebody tried to beat me hard, but I stood there and turned it in a different way.
“Thanks Lord for everything. I want to thank everybody who prayed for me. I want to thank God for the help he gave me. My lord is Jesus Christ.
“I devote this victory to my country, my family, my team, and the military defending the country. Thank you very much.”
On fighting Tyson Fury, Usyk said he wants to fight the boxer.
Fury is a British professional boxer and a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBC title since defeating Deontay Wilder in 2020.
The Ukrainian told the crowd that he is “sure that Fury is not retired yet. I’m convinced he wants to fight me, I want to fight him, if I’m not fighting Fury, I’m not fighting at all.
“Only God knows if I will be undisputed or not. All these gentlemen around me, my team, they’ll help me.”