Chris Eubank Jr has backed his close friend Anthony Joshua to ‘come back stronger’ from his second career defeat on Saturday night.
Usyk, 34, won the fight by a landslide unanimous decision, winning the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight title belts and becoming a two-weight world champion in the process.
But Eubank Jr, who returns at the SSE Arena in Wembley on Saturday, expects AJ to ‘come back stronger’.
Eubank Jr told Sky Sports: “Absolutely, I’m fired up.
“Obviously Anthony Joshua is a friend of mine. I’m a little deflated that he lost, but it’s part of the game. We’ve all been there.
“If anything, this makes me want to fight even harder. I know the feelings he’s going through now.”
“He is a career professional. He has been in the game long enough to know what to do, with or without his trainer,” he explained.
“That’s not an excuse he will use. It just wasn’t his night. You can’t win them all.
“The only fighter I can think of who won them all was Floyd Mayweather. You take your losses and come back stronger. That’s exactly what he is going to do.”
To his credit, Joshua only had himself to blame for the manner of his defeat.
Speaking after the fight, he said: “Well done to the winner, and we’ll be back again, get back into training.
“It was a great 12 rounds, great experience as well in the ring.
“And then we progress from this point on once again, so, we’ll be doing it all again soon.”
“Much better now,” he replied when asked how his eye was holding up.
“It’s weird; it was bad, at one stage it was bad, then it’s getting a lot better now.
“‘Where did it all go wrong?’ Just taking a loss, but we’ll get it right. Probably the ninth, from the ninth I couldn’t see in the ninth round. I couldn’t see anything, really, my eye was shut.
“But it was a good experience because in like adversity, you’ve just got to learn to control yourself, stay on top of things.
“So when I couldn’t see anything – it was the first time it’s happened in a fight – I was thinking alright, cool, this is the first time my eyes have closed up in a fight, I can’t see nothing, but I’m looking at a one eye kind of thing.
“But it got better as the rounds went on, good pace, and we’ll be back.”
Chris Eubank Jr vs Anatoli Muratov will air live and exclusively on Sky Sports, with tickets available to purchase via boxxer.com/tickets.