Trainer & Pundit
Anthony Joshua's shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr was down to nerves, says Dave Coldwell
"I didn't think he was ill or this has gone off, all these theories that everybody is coming out with. I didn't think nothing like that, I just thought he's nervous, he's really on edge."
Last Updated: 06/06/19 5:20pm
Anthony Joshua 'was not right' before his title defence against Andy Ruiz Jr but his shock defeat was just down to nerves, believes leading trainer Dave Coldwell.
Joshua's seven-round stoppage by Ruiz Jr has sparked many conspiracy theories concerning whether the Briton was 100% ahead of his American debut.
The former three-belt champion has dispelled "accusations and worries" over his mental state and will get his chance to retain his titles after triggering a rematch clause for a return later this year.
Coldwell, who led Tony Bellew to cruiserweight title glory, says that Joshua 'was not right' but feels the occasion of headlining at New York's iconic Madison Square Garden may have got the better of him.
"I just thought he looked nervous," Coldwell told Sky Sports. "I thought he looked nervous at Wembley when he fought Klitschko and came out the first couple of rounds quite cagey. You could see the occasion, the nerves kind of got to him.
"He's only human. We have this thing about heavyweight champions, 6ft 6 body sculpted, but bottom line is he's human, he has emotions.
"To me, when he gets in the ring, that's where he's different. That's where he doesn't look like a confident man at all. That's not an aggressive look and it's not a chilled look. It's not a happy look.
"There are different looks that fighters have, some go in there smiling, some are quite relaxed, but that's not a relaxed look.
"When he's leaning up against the ropes and doesn't move, when someone is massaging his neck, I thought then 'what's that about? That's strange, a little bit different'.
"It just doesn't look like the heavyweight champion of the world. It doesn't look like a confident guy. It looks like a fighter that's demons in his head.
"Usually when a fighter is called out as heavyweight champion of the world - heavyweight, middleweight, flyweight - it doesn't matter they're proud.
"They fill their lungs, they put their hands up, they look like 'yeah, I am the man' but it was almost like 'let's get this over and done with'.
"There's something wrong with him. He's not right… that's not the AJ we're accustomed to seeing.
"If I saw one of my fighters in a six-rounder with that demeanour, I would be worried. I didn't think he was ill or this has gone off, all these theories that everybody is coming out with. I just thought he's nervous, he's really on edge.
"He has got a lot of pressure on his shoulders, he's basically been carrying the sport. It is what it is, we'll never know because only he knows, perhaps even his team might not know.
"I've had it where a fighter has not told what issues are going on in his head, so even his team might not know."