Heavyweight Deontay Wilder believes that Anthony Joshua’s lack of confidence played a major role during his rematch defeat to Oleksandr Usyk on Sunday morning.
Pundits have commented that Joshua delivered an improved performance in Saudi Arabia following his loss to Usyk last year but it wasn’t enough as the Ukrainian retained his heavyweight titles via split decision.
Wilder, who is set for a ring return on October 15 against Finland’s Robert Helenius, believes Joshua showed a lack of confidence in the build-up to the fight and has questioned the 32-year-old’s mentality.
“Sometimes you just look at both fighters, and sometimes the eye test will tell it all,” Wilder told ESNews on Wednesday.
“The body language is telling a story, the way the momentum of a fighter is telling a story, you could look at Usyk and tell how confident he was, how the tables have turned, you could tell he owned it, he feels like who he is.
“With Joshua, you could tell that he wasn’t himself, his usual self of being motivated and secure within himself.”
Wilder also claimed he received an offer from Eddie Hearn before Joshua’s fight with Usyk and says that was a sign the promoter did not have full confidence in Joshua’s ability to reclaim the heavyweight titles.
“Eddie Hearn came to us, after everything is over with my fight, talking about offering a deal,” said Wilder.
“My thing is we’re busy. For me, it’s easy to see what was going on. Boxing’s solely a business, it’s not a sport. It’s strictly a business.
“But he was trying to contact us for reassurance. All of a sudden you want to make a fight because even you don’t have confidence in your own fighter that he was going to win.
“For me, he was trying to make a deal to ensure he can lock something in but the thing about it is when you lose that price goes up. He ain’t going to get no solid deal locked in. We’re not stupid, when you’re