ANTHONY JOSHUA has opened up on what caused his post-fight rage following defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.
AJ was beaten by the Ukrainian master for the second time in the space of 11 months in Saudi Arabia last August.
And he went onto grab the microphone and produce a bizarre post-fight rant after throwing Usyk's belts out of the ring.
Joshua – who had ex-opponent Wladimir Klitschko apologise for his actions – revealed being called "strong" triggered the anger.
He told BBC 5 Live: "There was certain things in the ring that was said – not excuses.
"But one of them was like, 'You are big and strong – you're strong.'
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"Remember, a lot of athletes from African-Caribbean community are told that they are strong and I feel like it's quite kind of degrading because we don't get mentioned about or talent.
"So when he said, I'm big and strong it was just like the alarm f*****g bells – sorry about my language. The alarm bells went off.
"So, there's loads of things that are triggering me at the time. But it's just pure and uncut emotion because it's more than being big and strong – it's passion, it's drive, it's work."
Joshua, 33, now returns on April 1 against Jermaine Franklin, 29, the American beaten by Dillian Whyte, 34, in November.
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AJ took the rest of 2022 off following his crushing loss and emotional breakdown.
And he reached out to boxing legend Klitschko, 46, the man he beat in 2017, to apologise to countryman Usyk, 36.
He said: "Listen, I'm not perfect and it's not the right thing to have done.
"I didn't speak to Usyk, I spoke to Wladimir, I said, 'Look, give Usyk a pat on the shoulder, tell him well done and I apologise.
"Know what I'm saying? That's man to man. But, it was just raw. Uncut and it may not make sense to a lot of people but it made a lot of sense to me.
"It was just how much it means to a degree. I thought I'd feel like that at the end of my career – when it's said and done.
"I think that's when I'll just be like, 'Wow, what a rollercoaster.'"
Joshua was also overcome with emotion after the realisation of missing out on a dream unification fight with Tyson Fury, 34.
He added: "I made it through the trenches but I feel like getting close to fighting for the undisputed title with Fury that people want so much."
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