Daniel Dubois took some unnecessary punishment after his surprising 10th round defeat to Joe Joyce at the weekend, but he has found a supporter in unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Dubois stayed down after taking a stiff jab to his horrendously swollen left eye on Saturday, prompting some leading fight figures to suggest he quit. Scans at Moorfields Eye Hospital later revealed the South Londoner had suffered a fractured orbital bone and nerve damage.
WBA Super, WBO and IBF title-holder Joshua says the criticism went too far and has offered his support to his heavyweight rival.
“If Daniel needs someone to speak to, he should call me. It is easy for people to criticise from outside the ring — but some people have been out of order,” Joshua told The Sun.
“Daniel took a massive risk in taking that fight, as did Joe Joyce. They both knew the dangers and they both put it all on the line. I hear people talking respectfully about tapping out in MMA fights.
“Then when a boxer stops because his eyeball is about to fall out, they call him a ‘quitter’ — are they serious?”
Joshua believes that he will cross paths with Dubois in the future and feels the British heavyweight scene has never been brighter.
“Daniel’s time will come. I believe I will fight both him and Joyce. Joyce is underrated. He had a top amateur pedigree and it shows,” added Joshua.
“This is a great time for British heavyweight boxing — it has never been stronger — and those two guys are both a huge part of it.”