7 sports stars who totally lost their head like Anthony Joshua’s strange rant

Anthony Joshua’s Saturday night defeat did more than end his immediate dreams of becoming the world heavyweight boxing champion once more.

The 32-year-old British star gave a great account of himself during the 12 rounds, showing vast improvement since being outclassed by Oleksandr Usyk in their first bout last year. But his respectable defeat was ultimately undone by a bizarre post-fight rant.

AJ initially threw two of the title belts out of the ring before storming off. He then returned to the ring to deliver a lengthy rambling message about his boxing journey.

READ MORE: Conor McGregor defends Anthony Joshua's 'great speech' in strange tweet

Joshua grabbed the microphone and appeared to insult legends Mike Tyson and Sonny Liston. He even put his arm around Usyk's shoulder and led a stunned crowd into a series of 'hip hip hoorays' before going on to talk about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Some suggested the Watford-born fighter may have been concussed due to the marked difference to his usually mild-mannered self. But it was far from the only time an elite athlete has lost their head in the heat of the moment.

Daily Star Sport brings you seven other sports stars who similarly lost composure as the world watched in awe.

Zinedine Zidane

No incident sums up the tragedy of elite level sport as much as Zinedine Zidane’s infamous 2006 World Cup final headbutt.

The maestro led his country all the way to the final of the competition against Italy, where he even scored a penalty to propel France towards a second World Cup trophy. But as Italy equalised and the midfielder grew more frustrated, he was subject to some verbal abuse from Marco Materazzi.


Zidane, in his final ever appearance as a player and on the biggest stage of them all, suffered a sudden meltdown as he turned around and headbutted his opponent square in the chest. His shocking reaction saw him sent off as Italy went on to win the match on penalties, marking a sad end to the legend’s career.

Didier Drogba

If we’re talking out of control rants, look no further than the king of all sporting rants – Mr Didier Drogba. The legendary Chelsea striker launched an expletive outburst in front of the cameras after the Blues were controversially knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals by Barcelona back in 2009.

Chelsea had seen four penalty appeals turned down by referee Tom Henning Ovrebo and suffered late heartbreak as Barcelona scored with their only shot on target to progress on away goals.

That left the Ivorian incensed as he shouted in the face of the Norwegian match official, before turning to the TV camera and yelling: "It's a disgrace. It's a f******* disgrace" in a now iconic bit of footage.

Serena Williams

While 23-time Grand Slam singles champ Serena Williams is undoubtedly one of the most dominant tennis players ever, that winning edge has also come with a ferocious side.

Her competitiveness has over-spilled on several occasions over the course of her career, with one incident in 2009 standing out. On that occasion during a U.S. Open semi-finals match, Williams was called for a foot-fault on her second serve to give Kim Clijsters the win on match point.

The American proceeded to threaten the line judge by allegedly saying: “I swear to God I’m … going to take this ball and shove it down your … throat.”

Sergio Ramos

Which athlete had the most shocking meltdown? Let us know in the comments section.

Paris Saint-Germain defender and ex-Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos has had countless moments of headloss on the pitch throughout his glittering career. None were as shocking as his post-sending off rampage against Barcelona in November 2010.

At a time where football was dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona, each ‘El Clasico’ was fought with blood, sweat and tears and regularly boiled over into temper tantrums. On this occasion, Real were on the brink of an embarrassing 5-0 defeat at the Camp Nou when Ramos decided to hack down Lionel Messi in the 90th minute.

His brutal assault saw Spain teammate Puyol run over in anger, while Ramos reacted by shoving the Barcelona captain in the face, sending him tumbling down. After being shown a straight red, he then put his hand to another fellow Spain international's face in Xavi while walking off the field. Tasty stuff.

Ron Artest

Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan would be a well-deserved addition to the list. Sadly, the Frenchman’s antics pale in comparison to the behaviour of former NBA star Ron Artest, who took it to a whole new level.

A showdown between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons descended into chaos after Artest, later known as Metta World Peace, pushed Detroit’s Ben Wallace in the back. Wallace retaliated with a two-fisted punch which escalated into a huge brawl that included players and fans.

Artest was then struck by a beer bottle thrown by someone in the crowd. He launched himself into the stands, accompanied by Stephen Jackson, as the two traded punches with opposition fans. The incident saw Artest suspended for the remaining 74 games of the season.

Kevin Keegan

Sports fans watching AJ’s monologue on Saturday night could be forgiven for being reminded of Kevin Keegan’s hilarious meltdown back in 1996. The Newcastle United manager had just beaten Leeds United 1-0, narrowing the gap at the top to just three points with a game in hand.

Sir Alex Ferguson had taken a cheap shot at Keegan before the match, stating teams don't try as hard against Newcastle. Keegan took the bait and then some.

He gave one of the most iconic and widely referenced post-match interviews of all time, ranting: "I've kept really quiet but I'll tell you something, he [Ferguson] went down in my estimations when he said that. We have not resorted to that.

"You can tell him now, we're still fighting for this title and he's got to go to Middlesbrough and get something – and I'll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it."

Dennis Rodman

NBA Hall of Famer and Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman has become a much-loved household name, partly because of the impact of Netflix’s Last Dance documentary in 2020.

But the flashy former basketballer had his darker moments on the court, from headbutting referees to scrapping with opponents. And none were more outrageous than his attack on a cameraman during a game in 1997 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

‘The Worm’ tried to grab a rebound from Kevin Garnett but lost balance and stumbled out of bounds. Cameraman Eugene Amos penned the camera towards Rodman, who lashed out by kicking him in the groin area, costing him almost £1million in damages.


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