Jamie Carragher and Piers Morgan couldn’t help but wonder what was going through Anthony Joshua’s mind as the boxer had a post-fight meltdown.
The football pundit and TV presenter interacted on social media as Joshua took the microphone in Saudi Arabia and sent his once squeaky-clean reputation into freefall.
AJ had previously walked away from the ring only to get ushered back.
Jamie Carragher and Piers Morgan
Like many of us, Carragher asked: “What is going on here?” – as Joshua unleashed a rant between leading the crowd to chant hip, hip hooray at his opponent.
Morgan stated: “Absurd to hear people citing ‘pressure’ as an excuse for AJ’s behavior at the end. His opponent’s country is literally at war. That’s pressure.”
Adding a joke, Carragher recalled Morgan storming away from the Good Morning Britain set.
“AJ just did a Piers Morgan,” laughed the ex-Liverpool defender and Champions League winner.
Morgan responded: “I had the smarts to leave, or I might have done an AJ.”
But seriously, Joshua’s enabled behavior needs addressing in a sterner manner. It’s not acceptable for a boxer who lost a fight to overshadow their opponent, especially given what Usyk was fighting for on the night.
His country remains at war, and Usyk was part of that just months before his victory.
Morgan hit the nail on the head: “Embarrassing antics at the end by Joshua.
!He was beaten by a superior fighter who put on a magnificent performance of highly-skilled, supremely resilient boxing.
“Congrats Usyk – a great champion & the pride of his nation. Moral of tonight: Ukrainians are hard as nails.”
After listening to Frazer Clarke’s words on Sky Sports, where his friend announced someone would have taken the mic from Joshua, Carragher agreed.
“Great words on SkySports by Frazer Clarke.”
Anthony Joshua apology
Several hours after facing a torrent of criticism, Joshua released a statement on his regret.
“I wish Usyka continued success in your quest for greatness. You are a class act, champ.
“Yesterday, I had to mentally take myself into a dark place to compete for the championship belts!
“I had two fights, one with Usyk and one with my emotions. Both got the better of me.
“I’ll be the first to admit. I let myself down. But I acted out of pure passion and emotion, which isn’t great when not controlled.
“I love this sport so so much. I’ll be better from this point on. Respect,” said Joshua.
His reputation in the UK took a huge bump. However, AJ has a significant enough platform and fanbase to survive there.
Clawing his way into America, though, is an entirely different story.
So where does Anthony Joshua go from here? – Domestic bouts for the next twelve months until he can potentially go for a shot at the WBC title – once Tyson Fury is out of the way.
That fight is off the menu until Joshua gets back to winning ways.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.