Anthony Joshua has laughed off claims he suffered a panic attack before fighting Andy Ruiz Jr and insists he wasn't knocked out during sparring ahead of his shocking defeat in New York.
The rumour mill went into overdrive in the aftermath of Joshua's first professional defeat to Ruiz Jr. His preparations were the subject of intense scrutiny.
Reports surfaced claiming Joshua had been knocked out cold during sparring and he suffered a panic attack minutes before walking out at Madison Square Garden.
But the ex-heavyweight king has vehemently denied the reports.
"Definitely not," he said on AJ: The Untold Truth when asked about the sparring rumours. "I feel like people are more interested in their five minutes of fame.
"Even in sparring, everyone wants to be famous, rather than a good fighter. Silly stories about knocking me down and all that stuff.
"You can't even enjoy your training and work on things without someone trying to make up false allegations, and trying to get five minutes of fame.
"You bring someone into your training camp to do them a favour, you're paying them, nothing like [the knockdown rumour] in that nature has happened, you beat them up in every round, then they go and do an interview.
"It just happens all the time in boxing, there is just a lot of envy, and there's no realness, and that's why it doesn't really sit well with me boxing sometimes, where I just lose that passion for it."
He also refuted claims of having a panic attack. "What is a panic attack?" he replied. "No, no [laughs]."
Neutral grounds - LETS GO - Dec 7th, time to be 2X - 258MGT :crown: pic.twitter.com/cNOJV3QkYX
- Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) August 9, 2019
Joshua has the chance to reclaim the heavyweight world titles when he rematches Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
But the champion is adamant the anticipated rematch won't take place in the Middle East. The dispute over the venue continues to rumble on.
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