An emotional Anthony Joshua broke down in tears at the post-fight press conference after losing his world-title challenge to Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia.
Asked if he was proud of his performance, Joshua became emotional.
“It’s really, really hard for me to say I’m proud of myself,” he said. “I’m upset, really, deep down in my heart.”
The two-time world champion then covered his face with both hands, taking deep breaths, as promoter Eddie Hearn took the next question.
Joshua composed himself and continued addressing the media.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medallist has been propelled into stardom ever since turning professional nine years ago.
He said the pressure and intrusion he faces “comes at a cost”.
Joshua added: “It will never break me but it takes real strength not to break me and tonight there is a little crack in the armour because that took a lot.”
‘When you’re angry you do stupid things’
Moments after Usyk’s hand was raised, Joshua seemingly lost his temper – lifting two of the champion’s belts, throwing them out of the ring and then arguing with the opposing team.
“When you try and do things from your heart, not everyone is going to understand,” Joshua explained.
“It was just from the heart. I knew I was mad at myself. Not at anyone, just myself. I was like I got to get out here because I’m mad.
“When you’re angry you might do stupid things. Then I realised this is sport. I came back and did the right thing.”
Joshua’s promoter Hearn, gave a passionate defence of his fighter.
“This is someone who I want my kids to look up to,” Hearn said.
“If he’s out in public, he gives everyone his time. He’s one of the nicest guys. He’s a competitor and winner.
“What you saw today was raw emotion. A real person who wanted to win badly.”
Hearn dismissed any suggestions of Joshua retiring, and confirmed he would like see him be more active. Hearn said he wanted Joshua to return in December and have at least three fights in 2023.
Joshua has fought just twice – both times against Usyk – in the last two and half years.
“I’m a fighter for life. That hunger never dies. Fighter for life,” Joshua said.