Tyson Fury has said his break from the boxing ring didn't do him any favours when it came to taking on Francis Ngannou.
He even missed the birth of his son Prince Rico in September as he was in training for the 'Battle of the Baddest'.
The 37-year-old has since called for the judges to be 'sanctioned', as he believes he should have triumphed.
Fury admitted it was 'far from' one of his best performances, but insists he put the work in to win the highly-anticipated fight.
He insisted he didn't underestimate his opponent and would not have clung onto his undefeated record if he didn't prepare enough.
Speaking to Boxing King Media, Fury explained: "You can’t take anything away from Francis Ngannou.
"He was a good fighter, he gave me a very good fight and that was it. I trained very well, I prepared very good, and I didn’t have any excuses or anything.
"It’s boxing, some days you have good days, some days you don’t. You crack on and you continue.
"Usually when the media say it’s a mismatch and it’s not worth watching and all that, usually you’re in for a tough night.
"And if I didn’t train as hard as I did I probably wouldn’t have got through that fight.
"He punches hard but it was a bit like a hook on the back of the head, the knockdown in round three, apart from that he didn’t really get me with much else."
Fury said he felt his 'timing was quite off', and admitted that he struggled to find his rhythm, as it has almost been 12 months since he beat Derek Chisora in December 2022.
He continued: "I’ve been out of the ring nearly a year again, a little bit of ring rust. It was what it was.
"It was far from one of my best performances, it wasn’t a vintage Tyson Fury but listen, you do what you’ve got to do in there and get through and on to the next one.
"I don’t know about a bad night because that’s taking it away from Francis Ngannou’s performance, he did very well.
"It’s boxing, you can’t be the best version of yourself every time, but it’s about keep going and on to the next one, which is Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed championship."
He told media: "It will happen early in the new year, late January or February. It will be up to Tyson, it is his body.
"He wasn’t smashed to bits at all but he needs a break."
Boxing fans are now gearing up for what could be a bloody Valentine instead of a Christmas clash.Featured Image Credit: Boxing King Media/Justin Setterfield/Getty Images