Anthony Joshua says Daniel Dubois is welcome to reach out to him and says the backlash following his defeat to Joe Joyce on Saturday has gone too far.
Dubois, a heavy favourite heading into the clash was defeated for the first time as a professional after taking a knee and failing to beat the count in the tenth round, as Joyce was crowned British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion.
Dubois, whose left eye had almost completely closed at the time of the stoppage, has received wide criticism in the wake of his defeat, with some accusing the 23-year-old of quitting rather than seeing out the remainder of the fight, with the former champion up on two of the three scorecards.
On Sunday, it was reported that the Londoner had suffered a broken orbital bone and nerve damage to his left eye.
Unified heavyweight world champion, Joshua, who lost his unbeaten record to Andy Ruiz Jr in a shock defeat last June before reclaiming his belts says the backlash has crossed a line and has welcomed a phone call with his compatriot.
“If Daniel needs someone to speak to, he should call me,” Joshua told The Sun.
“It is easy for people to criticise from outside the ring — but some people have been out of order.
“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 defends his unified titles against IBF mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev at the O2 Arena on December 12, with 1000 fans in attendance for the first time since March, with strict safety measures and guidelines will be in place in line with government regulations.
The 31-year-old is potentially one win away from securing a mouthwatering showdown with WBC champion, Tyson Fury and has praised former Olympic Silver medalist, Joyce for his performance against Dubois.
“Joyce is underrated. He had a top amateur pedigree and it shows,” Joshua added.
“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.”
Former cruiserweight world champion, Johnny Nelson has also come to Dubois’ defence insisting that it was an instinctive action.
“It’s very easy for people that have never boxed to say he quit,” Nelson told Pro Boxing Fans.
“It’s very easy for people that have never boxed and got in the ring to say that he hasn’t got any heart.
“It’s also very easy for fighters to say ‘no, no, you’d have to knock me out cold, I’d have to be out cold.’
“I don’t believe that, because what you do is what comes instinctively.”
Dubois released a statement on his social media on Monday in the wake of his defeat, vowing to bounce back.
“Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support over the weekend,” the statement read.
“All my respect to Joe Joyce, he boxed well and won fair and square.
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“I thought I was winning the fight. I tried to fight through the injury but I couldn’t in the end. I’m out of hospital and will wait now for the fracture to heal.
“I’ll be back to prove my doubters wrong and my fans right.”