Unbeaten heavyweight Daniel Dubois (11-0, 10KO) has told the critics to lay off his former Team GB amateur team-mate Anthony Joshua.
Joshua shockingly lost his world heavyweight title to Andy Ruiz Jr at the weekend and immediately came under fire after being floored four times and stopped in seven rounds.
The Greenwich powerhouse said: “I know AJ from our time in Sheffield and it isn’t nice to see the criticism he’s getting.
“It is one defeat and it is crazy that he is being told he is finished. Most boxers can only dream of what he has achieved as an amateur and professional.
“I have heard the talk of him not being right before the fight, but the only people who know if that is true are AJ and those closest to him.
Unbeaten Dubois is preparing to meet bitter enemy Nathan Gorman (16-0 11KO) for the vacant British heavyweight title at London’s O2 on Saturday July 13, live on BT Sport.
The winner will be closing in on new IBF, WBA and WBC king Ruiz, Lineal champ Tyson Fury, WBC title holder Deontay Wilder and Joshua - the division’s big four.
Dubois added: “Apart from when he knocked Ruiz Jr down, nothing seemed to go right whatever he tried in the ring. He didn’t seem there.
“The third round became a very bad one for him and I am wondering if he may have been concussed from those knockdowns.
“Bottom line is Ruiz Jr did the business, but only AJ knows if he has the appetite to come back.
“I’m not far away from these guys. I just need to keep working, learning and making sure I beat Nathan Gorman next month.”
Tickets for ‘Heavy Duty’ featuring Daniel Dubois v Nathan Gorman for the vacant British Heavyweight Title, plus Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce v Bryant Jennings are on sale now. The show also features British Middleweight Champion Liam Williams, super flyweight sensation Sunny Edwards and super featherweight contender Archie Sharp. Also returning after an impressive debut is Kent bantamweight Dennis McCann. Hamza Sheeraz, Mark Chamberlain, Jake Pettitt, Louie Lynn, Mickey Burke Jr and Florian Marku add to an exciting line up and tickets are available via AXS.com, Eventim and Ticketmaster