It is now unclear where Joshua goes from here after his defeat by Oleksadr Usyk on Saturday night in London losing all three belts in the unified title fight.
However, there is a rematch clause, one that the two-time world champion is likely to exercise.
He now has two losses to his name and on both occasions the Briton was dominated by a smaller man. Usyk did not find the knockout punch, but he exposed Joshua’s frailties and somewhat light attacking arsenal.
Joshua had no answer to Usyk and while his opponent glided across the ring, the champion appeared to be dragging his feet through mud. There was no attempt to bully Usyk, wear him down or go to the body.
It was a strange, almost hapless display from Joshua which leaves his legacy as one of the heavyweight greats in ruins.
Aside from the Briton’s long-term career prospects, Joshua versus Fury now appears to be dead.
Fury fights Deontay Wilder next month in Las Vegas and every fight fan’s greatest fear has been realised after the unification bout collapsed last summer.
To begin with, Joshua will have to win his rematch with Usyk which, after Saturday night’s meeting, appears a near impossible prospect.