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Joshua vs Usyk: Roy Jones Jr breaks down what went wrong for Anthony Joshua, possible rematch, and why we don’t need Usyk-Fury

Roy Jones Jr had an up-close seat on Saturday, and gives his thoughts on Anthony Joshua’s mistakes and Oleksandr Usyk’s big win — and the fight Usyk should avoid.

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Roy Jones Jr, legendary pound-for-pound champion, was in the house Saturday in London, calling Oleksandr Usyk’s big win over Anthony Joshua for DAZN.

After the fight, Jones sat down for DAZN’s “Beyond the Bell” to break down Joshua-Usyk and talk about a bit more, including why he doesn’t think anyone should want to see Usyk face Tyson Fury.

On what went wrong for Joshua

“It went wrong at the beginning, because you cannot let Oleksandr Usyk come in and establish dominance in the first round. ... When guys come up in weight, (like) when I fought Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad — I love Tito Trinidad, I think he’s a great guy, he’s a great fighter, but I almost take it as disrespect if you’re gonna come up to my weight class. So when you come up to meet me, I’m just gonna walk you down and show you that you shouldn’t be up here. As a heavyweight, that’s what AJ should have done immediately tonight.

“Instead, he tried to box with a guy who’s known as being a boxer; not just a boxer, a masterful boxer. Much more experience, much more ring IQ. You can’t let him come out and just box and let him get comfortable. Because now, the little guy’s come in your house, got comfortable, as though he’s taking over.”

On what Joshua could have done differently

“He made adjustments. He lost the first two (rounds), but then he won the (next) three. He did make that first adjustment, but then Usyk came back and made another adjustment, and the second adjustment is where (Joshua) had a problem. The reason you have a problem with that second adjustment is because at that time, fatigue also starts to set in. When he got fatigued, it was a little more difficult for him to keep up.”

On whether or not Joshua should take an immediate rematch

“Several things have got to play a part in that. When you’re hungry, you look at it one way. When you’re comfortable, you look at it another way. It all depends on how much you like to win. These new age guys, it’s hard for me to really tell you about them. They’re more about making money. Me, I’m right back in there. I don’t care, don’t even pay me. I’m going back anyway. If you beat me, put me back in there. But I’m a different guy.

“When you get comfortable sometimes, you don’t have that same hunger. If you don’t have that same hunger, he shouldn’t go. But if he has that hunger still, and he’s an athlete where he’s a winner — if he’s a winner at heart, then your job is to go find you somebody that can help you make a few more adjustments and get yourself right back in with that rematch clause. ... It depends on his hunger level and what he really wants to do.”

On changes Joshua needs to make

“He’s got to look at everything, but I thought (trainer) Rob (McCracken) did a good job. He made the initial adjustment, I thought Rob did a good job. I’m just saying maybe he needs to look at adding a few things with that, and how to make Anthony Joshua the best Anthony Joshua.”

“People say what they want to say, but I looked at the Pulev fight again, and I looked at the second Ruiz fight, and I didn’t like either one of them. They say he became more patient, but you can’t expect patience to beat a guy who’s got a higher IQ than you in the boxing ring. Later in the fight, he did what he should have started with, he started stalking him and trying to walk him down, but you’re supposed to do that in round one, not wait until round four or five to do that.”

On Usyk possibly facing the Fury-Wilder 3 winner

“Unless it’s Wilder, I hope it don’t happen. ... Two boxers don’t make for the most entertaining fight. ... We gotta keep Usyk and Fury away from each other by any means necessary. We do not want to see that. There should be a clause right now put into any contract: ‘Do not allow Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury to have a fight.’ We do not need that for boxing.

“This was an excellent fight tonight. This is what boxing needs. We don’t need the other fights we’ve been getting. We need these kind of real fights. ... I would say, we hope Joshua takes the rematch. This was an awesome fight. We’d love to see an awesome fight like this again. That’d be better for us. We don’t want to see Usyk-Fury. We’ll see anybody else!

“Chisora was a good fight with Usyk, Dillian Whyte would be a good fight with Usyk. Anybody that can punch is a great fight with Usyk, because Usyk is not known as a puncher, but he’s a mental man. Fury is the same way, he needs to be in there with a puncher. Boxers need to fight punchers and punchers need to fight boxers. That’s the offset that makes for great fights. Tonight we had a boxer versus a puncher, and the puncher actually turned boxer, and did better as a boxer, he just didn’t apply enough pressure.”

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