Details have emerged that former Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua almost died in the ring during his fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. as the Briton was concussed after the third round.
Joshua was knocked down four times by his Mexican challenger on his way to relinquishing his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO and titles.
His trainer, Rob McCracken revealed he knew the boxer was concussed after he was floored twice in the third round.
Brain injury charity Headway have slammed Joshua’s trainer, and believes his failure to pull out the fighter could have had catastrophic implications.
“Trainers have a duty of care to their boxers and it seems clear that Anthony Joshua’s trainer’s sole priority was winning that fight, not protecting the fighter from a potentially fatal injury,” a spokesperson for Headway told the Sun.
“We know once you’ve had a concussion, any subsequent blow can exacerbate the damage. You are most at risk of having a particularly serious or fatal brain injury if the brain has already been damaged and a concussion has already been sustained.
“In that point, he was particularly vulnerable to a more serious injury. One wonders how many deaths in the ring over the years have resulted from a win-at-all-costs mentality.”
Joshua’s long-standing relationship with McCracken has been under scrutiny since the defeat with many suggesting he should end his relationship with his trainer.
The pair have worked together since the Brit’s days as an amateur and Joshua insists he has no plans to mix things up.
On the heavyweight’s struggles against Ruiz, McCracken said: “I know him better than all these experts who virtually don’t know him or have met him once or twice.
“I knew he was concussed and I’m trying to get him through a few more rounds, one round at a time, and see where he’s at.
“But he was glazy-eyed from when he got caught with that initial shot in round three and he carried that with him up until the end.”
Joshua lost his unbeaten record and world heavyweight titles when he was stunned by Ruiz Jr in New York in June with a seventh-round stoppage.
The pair are set to go head to head again in Saudi Arabia in December with Joshua desperate to avenge his defeat.