Ex-world champion Anthony Joshua has been insulted in one of the worst ways possible to a professional boxer.
Joshua was branded a quitter in a face-to-face exchange with solitary conqueror Andy Ruiz Jr.
The pair were participating in media events ahead of a rematch collision in Saudi Arabia next month.
AJ is hoping to avenge a loss after being dropped four times by Ruiz at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Asked in the chat if feels his opponent backed out of the fight after rising from the canvas again, Ruiz said: “A little bit. Maybe, I feel he quit because of the way that it was won.
“I think he was still out of it. But I didn’t think he knew where he was at that moment. I think that he (Anthony Joshua) quit.”
Responding to the comments, Joshua said: “The referee waved off the fight. It’s just opinion.
“I roll with it. I ride with it. I’m a champion through and through, no matter what anyone says to me.”
Ruiz then gave his retort to a question on his own decision if the ball was in his court. He added: ”It depends how hurt I was. I’m not gonna quit. If I fall, I fall.”
Joshua replied: “The conclusion is I quit. But I feel like why wouldn’t I have stayed though?
“Why wouldn’t I have stayed though? He hit me with a shot I couldn’t recover from. I still stuck in there.”
Concluding, Ruiz stated: “He was still up, the referee was the one that waved it off. But I have to (end his career). I have to, right?
“He’s trying to take my career as well. It’s either me or him inside the ring. I will and I am.”
Ruiz vs Joshua 2 is set to take place during Diriyah Season at a purpose-built arena on December 7. UK fans are set to be charged a record £24.95 to purchase the event.
In the US, DAZN takes the televised rights for $20 for a month’s viewing or $100 for the whole year.
A second loss for Joshua could prove far too much to recover from and sees the Londoner frozen out from the title picture.