Some fans and pundits fear British Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua suffered a concussion during his title fight with Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday.
Joshua lost his rematch against Usyk at Jeddah Super Dome, a record-breaking state-of-the-art arena in Saudi Arabia.
After a second successive points defeat to Usyk, Joshua flew into a fit of rage. He had an emotional reaction and later apologised for it.
The 32-year-old fighter took the microphone from winner Usyk and went on a four-minute monologue.
In his post-fight interview, he did, however, frequently compliment Usyk for his performance in their rematch.
Many people were taken aback by Joshua’s actions, including training partner Frazer Clarke.
The Olympian said: “Maybe he was concussed. I would have taken a dog to take that microphone off him.’
“I apologise for the team, someone from the team should have saved him. Anthony’s a good person, it was out of character.
“Someone should have jumped in and stopped him. It was only words at the wrong time.”
“Anthony’s a good person, it was out of character. Someone should have jumped in and stopped him. It was only words at the wrong time,” he added.
UK Knews reports that boxing fans were similarly stunned, with one saying: “Is Anthony Joshua concussed?”
Another said: “As bad as it was, got to cut Anthony Joshua some slack…he was concussed, exhausted and emotional.”
And another said: “Anthony Joshua surely concussed there? None of that made any sense, just spouting shite that makes no sense, what a strange speech.”
After the defeat, Joshua said as he grabbed the mic, took centre stage and addressed the fans after losing to Usyk,”If you knew my story you would understand the passion.
“I ain’t no amateur boxer from five-years-old that was an elite prospect from youth.
“I was going to jail, I got bail and I started training my arse off, I wanted to be able to fight.
“I’m stealing this Usyk I’m sorry, but it’s because of the passion we put into this.
“This guy to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the level of hard work I put in so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.”
He then added: “I’m not a 12 round fighter, look at me, I’m a new breed of heavyweights, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, ‘you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano’, I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy, it’s hard work.
“This guy here is a phenomenal talent, we’re going to cheer for him three times.
“I saw in round eight that he was feeling victorious already.
“And I kept telling myself, ‘Keep calm, do not stop. You cannot stop. Do not stop.’
“Some big things were at stake. Thank God the belts are coming back to Ukraine and the victory is with us and Ukraine won.”
Usyk could barely contain his emotions after beating Anthony Joshua for a second time.
He said: “I devote this victory to my country.”
Both AJ and Usyk held up the Ukraine flag after the fight.
In 2019, Joshua was told he could have died after his trainer Rob McCracken admitted to knowing he was concussed during his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in June.
The former world heavyweight champion was knocked out in the seventh round in New York, losing his titles to the Mexican-American with his trainer admitting he knew the former champion was concussed four rounds before the fight’s conclusion, The Independent reports.
McCracken said he knew Joshua was concussed after the third round after suffering two knockdowns. Joshua could be heard between rounds asking, “what round is it?”, and, “why am I feeling like this?”
A brain injury charity, Headway had subsequently criticised McCracken for allowing the fight to continue.