Anthony Joshua says he will continue to work with trainer Rob McCracken despite criticism of his role in the 29-year-old’s shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.
Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis was among those to suggest Joshua should look for a new trainer, but he insists he will stick with McCracken.
“I took my first (professional) loss. How to explain that feeling? It has happened to me before but I feel like those times I lost years back have made me a stronger person,” Joshua said in a video released on his YouTube channel.
“It hasn’t really changed me, my work ethic, my mindset, what I stand for, the people I’m still loyal to – my trainer Rob McCracken, my amateur coach at Finchley ABC. I’m still going to work with these guys, they’ll teach me everything I need to know.
“They’ve done a great job for me not only inside the boxing ring but mainly as a human. They’ve really developed me as a person which is really important. These guys have been with me for years.”
Joshua also refused to make any excuses for his defeat and has vowed to win back the IBO, IBF, WBO and WBA (super) heavyweight titles he lost to the American in New York.
“There was no contaminated food. I know there’s a lot of accusations or worries about what was wrong with me,” Joshua added.
“But I want to tell you this – I’m a soldier and I have to take my ups and my downs. And on Saturday I took a loss and I have to take it like a man. I have to take my loss like a man, no blaming anyone or anything.
“I’m the one who went in there to perform and my performance didn’t go to plan. I’m the one who has to adjust, analyse and do my best to correct it and get the job done in the re-match.
“Boxing is a part of my life and I’m a champion at heart. Congratulations to Andy Ruiz, he has six months or so to be champion because the belts go in the air and he has to defend them against myself.”
But Joshua’s heavyweight rival Tyson Fury backed Ruiz Jr to triumph again in the re-match, which is set to take place in November or December.
Fury said in an interview with ESPN their contrasting styles “aren’t made to go together and Andy will always beat AJ in my opinion”.
On his compatriot’s defeat, he added: “I looked at Joshua and I saw that he didn’t want to be in the ring on the night. He was looking away, he had other things on his mind.
“From round one I could see what was going to happen. I looked at Joshua and he didn’t have no water, no sweat on him and I thought, ‘This guy is going to get knocked out’.”