Frazer Clarke believes Anthony Joshua was “left out to dry” in the wake of his latest defeat.
The undefeated heavyweight, who trains alongside the Olympic gold medallist from London 2012, was working as a pundit on Saturday night.
Joshua lost to Oleksandr Usyk in the pair’s rematch, at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia, via a split decision and emotionally stormed out of the ring before returning, chucking away a couple of the belts and then taking the microphone to give an odd speech to the crowd.
Clarke, who is promoted by Boxxer, fights on Sky Sports and will return to the ring on September 3 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, was alongside Carl Froch and WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie in the studio with Anna Woolhouse as they presented the coverage of the heavyweight return clash on the channel Box Office pay-per-view arm.
And he reckons those behind ‘AJ’, who had his new coach Robert Garcia in the corner for the first time, let him down in the aftermath of the defeat.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Clarke said:
“I feel like he was left out to dry by his team. Somebody should’ve saved him from himself.
“In the true sense of boxing, that was Usyk’s time to celebrate, I don’t think it was right.
“Anthony has done a lot of good, but he had a bad one there. There are no excuses, that was Usyk’s time. Somebody should’ve stopped him [and] saved him from himself.”
Clarke is managed by Joshua’s 258 Management team and said that they may not thank him for his comments, but he said that they should have done more to prevent the ugly scenes which saw him having to be held back in his corner.
“Nobody feels it as much as Anthony. He’s not a normal boxer. The pressure I feel versus [the pressure] Joshua [feels], it’s chalk and cheese.
Maybe it boiled over there, maybe it was heated. Let’s not judge him on that, the Joshua I know is a nice respectful human being. He boiled over there.
If I was there, I would’ve taken a dig to take the microphone off him and give him a minute to compose himself.”