Three prominent figures from the boxing world, one of which is Deontay Wilder, questioned the mental toughness of Anthony Joshua.
Joshua got beaten badly by Oleksandr Usyk for a second time, enjoying only one solid round in the ninth.
Despite fighting better than in the first fight, Usyk continued to pick off Joshua as he came in and countered him like a master.
This scenario led to World Boxing News scoring the fight 119-109 to Usyk. Further analysis of the stats showed only scores between 116-112 and 119-109 were viable surrounding the Saudi Arabia headliner.
A week later, Ryan Garcia, Wilder, and Joshua’s trainer, Robert Garcia, hold grave doubt about his mindset during the big fights.
First of all, Ryan Garcia said: “I think from what I saw with Joshua in and out the ring, he has always had to protect his image.
“It caused him to lose who he truly is – only looking outside perspective. I’ve got love for him. He can bounce back and will. Congrats to Usyk for great boxing.”
Deontay Wilder offered his opinion: “The meltdown comes when you create such a fighter. You give them everything and try to avoid tough fights.
“Then, when it boils down to the wire, you don’t know who to trust. You’ve been listening to all this fake stuff.”
But Robert Garcia offered the most damning report from the corner.
Brought in by Joshua to replace long-time trainer Rob McCracken, Garcia got headhunted by the Briton.
“Joshua was mentally defeated since around ten or eleven,” Robert García told IZQUIERDAZO. “Round ten was a big one for Usyk. That changed the whole fight, and mentally we were defeated.
“At that point, we relied on a good shot or something like that. Because Anthony is a hard puncher, and one shot can change a fight.
“That is what we were hoping for, one shot because he was dominated at that point of the fight.
“The fight went well for us, but the tenth round changed everything. The last three rounds of the fight were the ones that changed the fight.
“In the ninth round, we were close to winning, perhaps even by knockout. We won the fight on the judges’ scorecards through round nine, but it was decided in the last rounds.
“Usyk is a great fighter, with a tremendous heart, who knows how to finish strong as champions do.”
He continued: “During that ninth round, the guys in the corner and I told ourselves that we had the fight. But nothing is secured until the final bell.
“Usyk returned stronger in the tenth round, which changed the fight. I have even thought in these last few days that Anthony Joshua mentally defeated himself.
“In the ninth, Joshua threw many punches and almost put Usyk out. Maybe, he emptied. But maybe it was just that Usyk came stronger and more motivated to the tenth round, we don’t know.”
It’s certainly not the first time Anthony Joshua has been labeled mentally weak in a fight.