Joshua put on a much better display in the rematch than he did in the first fight in September but it wasn’t enough to become a three-time heavyweight champion.

The mask very much appeared to slip and Joshua has now issued a full statement explaining his actions.

“I wish @usykaa continued success in your quest for greatness,” he wrote on Twitter.

“You are a class act champ. Yesterday I had to mentally take myself into a dark place to compete for the championship belts! “I had two fights, one with Usyk and one with my emotions and both got the better of me.

“I’ll be the first to admit, I let my self [sic] down. I acted out of pure passion and emotion and when not controlled it ain’t great.

I love this sport so so much and I’ll be better from this point on. Respect.”

After hijacking the microphone, Joshua passionately discussed his journey from jail to world champion, as well as hailing Usyk’s quality, firing back at criticism of his abilities and also discussing the situation in Ukraine.

There was another explosion backstage when a bystander told him to “keep it professional”, with security having to hold Joshua back and calm him down.

Image: AlamyIn the press conference, Joshua broke down in tears in what was a new side fans had not seen from the 32-year-old.

He’s now suffered back-to-back defeats to Usyk but wants to return to the squared circle in November and has vowed to reclaim the world heavyweight titles.