ANTHONY JOSHUA struggled to comprehend his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk and asked his conqueror: “How did you beat me? You’re not strong.”
Joshua, 32, put up a valiant effort in Saudi Arabia to push the Ukrainian heavyweight champ all the way to 12 thrilling rounds.
But the Brit was edged out thanks to a split decision from the judges.
And after sensationally throwing two of the world title belts out of the ring and then storming off back towards his dressing room, AJ turned around and came back to talk to Usyk.
They shook hands before Joshua launched into a slightly bizarre monologue at a confused Usyk.
It is unclear from his demeanour if he was giving Usyk credit for another strong performance in the ring or was having a go at his rival.
AJ said: “I don’t care about being strong, I have that skill.
“Being strong doesn’t win boxing. Skills win boxing.
“You’re not strong. How did you beat me? How? Because of skill.
“I had character and determination. Where’s the mic?”
Then Joshua got hold of the microphone and went into his long passionate, albeit slightly cringe-worthy, speech inside the ring.
He was very respectful to Usyk throughout – especially with the war in Ukraine – and again hailed his quality in the ring.
But he also went off on a massive tangent about his own backstory and journey, with many feeling as though he stole Usyk’s limelight following the defence of his world titles.
Joshua, 32, said: “If you knew my story you would understand the passion.
“I ain’t no amateur boxer from five years old that was an elite prospect from youth.
“I was going to jail, I got bail and I started training my a*** off, I wanted to be able to fight.
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“I’m stealing this Usyk I’m sorry, but it’s because of the passion we put into this.
“This guy to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the level of hard work I put in so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.”
He then added: “I’m not a 12-round fighter, look at me.
“I’m a new breed of heavyweights, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, ‘You don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano’, I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy, it’s hard work.
“This guy here is a phenomenal talent, we’re going to cheer for him three times.”
He then got the crowd to awkwardly cheer Usyk, who watched on baffled.
I’m upset deep down in my heart
AJ broke down in tears during his press conference and was comforted by promotor Eddie Hearn.
He said: “Am I proud of myself? It’s really really hard for me to say I’m proud of myself.
“I don’t feel anything, I’m upset deep down in my heart.”
Usyk, 35, wants to fight Tyson Fury next with all the heavyweight belts on the line.
When he finally got his hands on the mic after AJ, he said: “I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet.
“I’m sure, I’m convinced he wants to fight me.
“I want to fight him and if I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.”
FURY TO FIGHT
Fury accepted the challenge and looks as though he could come out of his very brief retirement to take on the WBA, WBO, IBF and The Ring holder.
The Gypsy King said on a now-deleted Instagram post: “I’ve just seen Joshua lose for the second time to Usyk – out of his depth.
“However, England has been relieved of its belts. Yet again, as usual.
“There is a remedy and a solution that I can suggest. If you want those belts back then send in the Gypsy barbarian of England. Come on!
“Send me in. I will relieve the Ukrainian dosser of his belts like I did the last Ukrainian dosser.
“But its not gonna be cheap. If you want the best you’ve got to pay, it’s gonna be very expensive.
“So get your f***ing chequebook out and I will relieve that Ukrainian dosser.”