Promoter Eddie Hearn insists Anthony Joshua 22-1 (21) assured him there was nothing different about his mental state ahead of his hock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr 33-1 (22) at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old Joshua lost his IBF, WBA and WBO belts along with his unbeaten record to California Ruiz Jr, 29, who entered the fight a prohibitive underdog.
In the wake of the loss speculation has been rife that Joshua wasn’t mentally prepared, with a persistent rumour that the Brit had a panic attack in the changeroom prior to his ring-walk.
“People now analysing his body language in the ring. He’s always like that,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“He always looks like he’s not even thinking about the fight – that’s just the way that he is.
“I’ve spoken to him and I said to him ‘How did you feel before the fight?’ and he said ‘I felt absolutely fine, I got hit with a shot on the top of the head and I never recovered’.
“Emotions were high after the fight. His dad was upset about a few things: the ref and other stuff. But we’ve all spoken and preparation was okay.”
Joshua denied there was anything wrong with him before the fight, insisting the blame for the loss sits on his shoulders alone for failing to execute his gameplan.
“From the changing room, [I had] space, warmed up really well. I had no panic attack, I’m not that type of person. You know me,” Joshua said on his YouTube channel.
“I have said and I’m going to keep on saying: I have to take my loss like a man. No blaming anyone, no blaming anything.
“I’m the one who went in there to perform and my performance didn’t go to plan. My game plan didn’t go to plan.
“I have to readjust, analyse, do my best to correct it and get the job done in the rematch.”
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