Joshua backs trainer McCracken and dismisses panic attack rumours

By Sports Desk June 05, 2019

Anthony Joshua wants to keep working with trainer Rob McCracken and denied he suffered a panic attack ahead of his stunning defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Joshua sensationally lost his IBF, WBO and WBA world titles at Madison Square Garden over the weekend, suffering a seventh-round stoppage in one of the greatest shocks in the history of heavyweight boxing.

The loss prompted former heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis to suggest Joshua should part company with his long-time mentor McCracken.

However, in a video posted to YouTube, titled 'My Loss From My Side', Joshua outlined his faith in the team that helped him to so much success prior to the Ruiz fight.

"It hasn't really changed me and my work ethic, my mindset and what I stand for," said Joshua of his first professional defeat. "The people I'm still loyal to, my trainer Rob McCracken, my amateur coach at Finch ABC, I still want to work with these guys, they're still going to teach me everything I need to know.

"They've done a great job for me, not only inside the boxing ring but mainly as a human. They really developed me as a person, which is important."

Rumours of Joshua suffering a panic attack before the bout were vehemently denied by his promoter, Eddie Hearn, as a "fake story".

Joshua added: "I know there were a lot of accusations or worries about what was wrong with me but I want to tell you this. I'm a soldier. I have to take my ups and my downs. And on Saturday I took a loss and I have to take it like a man.

"I had no panic attack, I'm not that type of person, you know me, and that's why I'm going to keep on saying that 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 gameplan didn't go to plan. So I have to kind of readjust, analyse, do my best to correct it and get the job done in the rematch."

Hearn confirmed on Tuesday that a rematch clause had been triggered, with Joshua and Ruiz set to meet again in November or December at an as yet unconfirmed venue.

"I would not mind if it was in New York again. I wouldn't mind if it was in England," said Joshua. "I feel like I was stopping off in New York and I want to come back home as well so I'd love it to be in England. But New York, man, they opened their arms for me and my whole team, and it was phenomenal. It was an amazing night."

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    Ruiz was a late replacement for Jarrell Miller when he pulled off a huge shock and stopped Joshua in the seventh round at Madison Square Garden in June to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO straps.

    The rematch has been set for December 7 in Riyadh and WBC belt-holder Wilder is anticipating a repeat result.

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    "I saw Ruiz punch Joshua in the temple and it knocked his equilibrium out. He could not recover and that meant he got knocked down four times. When you are in a situation where you have not been before, it is like life teaching you a lot of lessons on the job.

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    "Ortiz is definitely happening. I am looking forward to fighting him. After I knock him out I will go to Fury, knock him out and then we will go for a unification," Wilder said.

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