With Anthony Joshua’s surprising defeat to undefeated Ukrainian underdog Usyk, many have been speculating if a rematch is likely and how the now former world champion was defeated. Parimatch has teamed up with Mark Bowden, a Body Language expert, to analyse and compare AJ’s ring walks from his matches against former rival Ruiz Jr to determine if he has any subtle cues, indicating his confidence levels.
Before Usyk, Ruiz was AJ’s only defeat.
Mark Bowden identified some common ringwalk traits and what they mean. These included:
- Low Blink rate – Demonstrates calmness
- Use of Heroic imagery – Power and confidence in victory
- Lip Suppression – Demonstrates anxiety
- Bowed head – Demonstrates fear towards opponent
Mark Bowden said in AJ vs Ruiz #1, AJ appeared nervous – Joshua purses his lips to one side when with his Trainer. This indicates withheld negative opinions of the situation.
Mark Bowden said in AJ vs Ruiz #2, AJ appeared noticeably more confident – Joshua is showing no indicators of anxiety, stress, or withheld negative thoughts as seen in the first match. Ruis is displaying a different and more anxious set of behaviours than in the last match.
With the Usyk fight AJ’s ringwalk was a combination of the two. Whereas AJ’s ring walk did display calmness and confidence, there were brief moments when he would pursue his lips or look down. These are subtle indicators that AJ was nervous before the fight. Which he eventually lost.
With Usyk wearing a visor and barely interacting with the crowd, his emotional state was stoic and difficult to read.
I have attached a press release which also contains summaries of the matches along with Mark Bowden’s complete notes.
You can view an interactive version of the page here: https://hub.parimatch.co.uk/campaigns/ring-walks/
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