Anthony Joshua has admitted that he 'let himself down' with his emotional outburst following his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.
The British boxer lost for a second time in a row as the Ukrainian retained his heavyweight titles in their long-awaited rematch last night (20 August).
And things took a bizarre turn when the result was read out, with the 32-year-old throwing two of the belts out of the ring and storming off.
AJ then returned, grabbing hold of the microphone and speaking to the crowd.
The former Olympic champion was heavily criticised for his actions, with some saying he stole Usyk's moment.
I wish @usykaa continued success in your quest for greatness. You are a class act champ.— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) August 21, 2022
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 and both got the better of me. pic.twitter.com/onnUAALm3R
However, he has now come out and apologised for his actions.
In a post to Twitter, Joshua said: "I wish @usykaa 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 and both got the better of me."
Despite many believing Usyk won the fight by some distance, the judges were split, with Glenn Feldman scoring it 115-113 for Joshua while Viktor Fesechko and Steve Gray scored it 116-112 and 115-113, respectively, for Usyk.
After returning to the ring, AJ appeared to confront his opponent, seemingly unable to understand how he lost the fight.
He then addressed the crowd and the millions watching around the world, taking aim at some of his critics.
"I am giving you my story," Joshua said.
"I was going to jail. I got bailed and started training my arse off, because if I got sentenced then I would not have been able to fight.
"I could have done better, but it showed the hard work he must have put in to beat me.
"Please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world."
He went on: "I’m not a 12-round fighter. I am a new breed of heavyweight, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston – they say, 'He doesn’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano', because I am 18 stone, I am heavy.
"It is hard work. This guy here is a phenomenal talent. We are going to cheer for him."
The former champion's outburst left fans watching back at home scratching their heads.
One user said: "What on earth is #AnthonyJoshua doing in this post-fight speech? Heads gone. Embarrassing himself. Painful watch."
While another added: "Anthony Joshua having a melt down in the ring and flushing his "Mr Humble" reputation down the toilet."
In his post-fight speech, Usyk dedicated his victory to his family and his country, which is still in the midst of a war with Russia.
He said: "I want thank everyone who prayed for me. I want to thank God for the help that he gave me today because he did give me a lot today. My Lord is Jesus Christ."
Featured Image Credit: PA/Alamy