Dillian Whyte COLUMN: Deontay Wilder may have got to Anthony Joshua and why Rob McCracken is NOT to blame for

Fighting in America for the first time in his career at Madison Square Garden should have been the highlight of Anthony Joshua’s career so far. But it didn’t look like he wanted to be there on Saturday night.

So many things have surfaced since the defeat. Joshua was concussed. He had a panic attack in the dressing room. He got knocked out in sparring. I don’t know whether any of the rumours are true but, for whatever reason, Joshua didn’t seem to want to be in that ring with Andy Ruiz Jr.

Everyone has a bad day at the office but there was something more to it than that. At the end of the fight, he appeared relieved it was over. He didn’t look like he cared to me.

Joshua was knocked down four times en route to a seventh-round stoppage

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Joshua was knocked down four times en route to a seventh-round stoppage

You don’t go from being unified heavyweight champion, 22-0, knocking everyone out, saying you want to be undisputed champion to whatever that was.

When Vitali Klitschko fought Lennox Lewis in 2003 and the fight got stopped due to a bad cut above the Ukrainian’s eye, he was going crazy. Denis Lebedev’s eye was popping out his head when he was stopped in his brutal bout with Guillermo Jones in 2013 but he wasn’t happy and still wanted to continue. Contrast that with Joshua’s reaction when the referee waved off the fight in the seventh round against Ruiz. He almost looked happy it was over.

Joshua tries to go for the kill always in the first three rounds and then he gasses. It was the same with the Wladimir Klitschko fight. He tried to steam Klitschko early, gassed and then Klitschko caught him. When he fought me, he tried to iron me out, got caught, backed up and then he had to regroup. He did the same to Ruiz – but this time he wasn’t so lucky.

Ruiz Jr was a late replacement for Jarrell Miller and was a rank outsider to beat Joshua

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Ruiz Jr was a late replacement for Jarrell Miller and was a rank outsider to beat Joshua

Until the third round, the fight had actually been going to plan for AJ. He was doing well. He was jabbing and he was catching Ruiz.

Then he did what he always does and went for the kill. AJ is six foot six. What is he doing coming in and trading with a man that is six foot one? It makes no sense. I’ve said for such a long time that the left hook is one of AJ’s biggest weaknesses and it proved true at MSG.

No matter how relaxed AJ appears normally, there was a lot of pressure on him going into the fight and maybe it got to him. He was fighting in the US for the first time, trying to make an impression and blow up his brand over there. Well, he certainly did that but not in the way he wanted! I’m hearing that there’s been a few changes to his sponsors. Now he’s repping Under Performour, Beats by Ruiz and StubbedOut…

Fighting in America is a great experience. I went out there and fought on a Terence Crawford undercard so I could get used to it. But I’m different to AJ. I’m the kind of guy that when I’m in the ring, I just want to fight. I don’t care about all of this other stuff. Maybe that wasn’t the case for AJ.

He may have also felt he had to put on a show after Deontay Wilder’s knockout victory over Dominic Breazeale. AJ is that kind of guy who thinks ‘I want to do better than Wilder, I want to show I am the best, I want to be the people’s champion’.

Wilder knocked out Breazeale to defend his WBC belt on May 18 – and Whyte believes that may have had an effect on Joshua

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Wilder knocked out Breazeale to defend his WBC belt on May 18 – and Whyte believes that may have had an effect on Joshua

I saw it coming before the fight. I said he needs to focus on himself, forget what Wilder had done and go out there and focus on getting the win against Ruiz. Don’t put pressure on yourself and get the job done.

Instead, he went out and tried to blast Ruiz – and the Mexican is one tough guy. He’s one of those fighters who the more you hit him, the more he gets into it because he’s got nothing to lose.

I was the first person to beat Joshua as an amateur and he was the first person to beat me in the pros. So I wanted to be the first person to beat him – again – but this is heavyweight boxing. If you fight top ten people, you’re gonna get knocked down and lose sometimes. You just have to regroup and rebuild. That’s a part of being a champion.

A champion isn’t about going in, doing a few rounds and coming away with a KO. It’s about finding a way to win, getting the result no matter what. AJ might well get his titles back when the rematch goes down later this year in the UK.

Rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr will take place in November or December

LAY OFF JOSHUA’S TRAINER – IT’S NOT HIS FAULT

People are saying that AJ needs to move on from his long-time coach Rob McCracken after the defeat. But that’s rubbish.

As soon as someone loses, people look for excuses and say, ‘oh, the coach is not good enough, he is this and that’. When you are winning, no one mentions the coach.

It is nothing to do with Rob McCracken. I know Rob, he is a good coach. He is one of the last of the old-school coaches. He has been AJ’s coach for a long time and he got Carl Froch through some difficult fights.

It is nothing to do with the coach, it is nothing to do with his promoter Eddie Hearn. It was purely down to Joshua.

McCracken has come in for criticism after Joshua’s defeat but Whyte insists he is not to blame

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McCracken has come in for criticism after Joshua’s defeat but Whyte insists he is not to blame

Joshua has to blame himself for the loss because as fighters, we are the ones that ultimately make the decisions. When I fought Joseph Parker, I was ahead on the cards and my trainer Mark Tibbs wanted me to box. But I thought to myself: “I can knock this man out and stop it.” So I made the decision to go out there and try and have a go – and I got knocked down in the 12th round.

Your coach can give you all the advice in the world, but it’s like the old saying: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

On the day Joshua got it wrong and he got punished. That’s heavyweight boxing. Joshua is an Olympic gold medallist, he was a unified world champion and has been around long enough to know he has nobody but himself to blame.

GEARING UP FOR OSCAR RIVAS ON JULY 20

I’m seven weeks away from my fight with Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London and my training camp is going really well.

I’m sparring once or twice a week at the minute, but next week we will step that up. I’m just getting my timing and rhythm right.

I’m a different kind of fighter from the likes of Joshua. There are certain kinds of things that I work on. I’ve learned the game from the floor up, I’ve scrapped and scrapped and I’ve learned from my mistakes.

Whyte will keep talkSPORT updated with his training camp ahead of his fight with Oscar Rivas in July

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Whyte will keep talkSPORT updated with his training camp ahead of his fight with Oscar Rivas in July

People don’t listen to what I say sometimes because they think I’m a brawler or a tough guy that can slug or whatever, but I know what I’m talking about and what I’m doing.

I study the sport and I have a good eye for technical deficiencies and a very good boxing brain.

I have a great set-up too. The problem for me is I’m a warrior by nature so that can be an issue for me sometimes! I occasionally go back to old habits instead of utilising my skillsets.

I’ll make sure there will be no bad habits on July 20, though and I won’t be underestimating the dangerous, unbeaten Oscar Rivas. After all, he knocked out Bryant Jennings in his last fight, knocked Kubrat Pulev out of the Olympics and completely dominated current unified heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz Jr and beat him 16-4 in the Olympic qualifiers.

Tickets for Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas at The O2 on July 20, including an impressive undercard, are available to purchase now from StubHubThe O2 and Matchroom BoxingYou can also watch the fight live on Sky Sports Box Office.