Anthony Joshua has rubbished talk of Daniel Dubois being ‘a quitter’ and has offered his support to the young British heavyweight prodigy.
Dubois was criticised for many experts for taking a knee and being counted in Round 10 of his big clash with Joe Joyce on Saturday. It was the first defeat of his professional career (he is now 15-1).
In the immediate aftermath he was under fire from many experts, with BT analyst and former world champion Carl Frampton saying he thought Dubois had “quit”.
A day later though it was revealed that Dubois had fractured his eye socket in the defeat with potential nerve damage to his left eye also being investigated. He was released from hospital on Monday and thanked his fans for their support. He also said he would be back to “prove the doubters wrong”.
Joshua: Dubois criticism went too far
Joshua believes the post-fight criticism of Dubois went way too far, and told The Sun: “If Daniel needs someone to speak to, he should call me.
“It is easy for people to criticise from outside the ring – but some people have been out of order. Daniel took a massive risk in taking that fight, as did Joe Joyce. They both knew the dangers and they both put it all on the line.
“I hear people talking respectfully about tapping out in MMA fights. Then when a boxer stops because his eyeball is about to fall out, they call him a ‘quitter’ – are they serious?”
AJ: I will face Dubois and Joyce eventually
Joshua is currently preparing to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO world titles against Kubrat Pulev on December 12 (live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN). But he believes he will eventually face both Dubois and Saturday’s conqueror Joyce.
“Daniel’s time will come. I believe I will fight both him and Joyce. Joyce is underrated. He had a top amateur pedigree and it shows.
“This is a great time for British heavyweight boxing – it has never been stronger – and those two guys are both a huge part of it.”
Joyce is #2 in the WBO heavyweight rankings after his win over Dubois took that spot. Only mandatory contender Oleksandr Usyk is ahead of him.
Should reigning champion Joshua vacate the belt in favour of that clash with Fury, then it would likely be Usyk vs Joyce for the vacant title.