GARY CORNISH, the softly spoken “Highlander” who lost inside the first round to Anthony Joshua last September, has made little comment since. But on social media he has broken his silence.

Preparing for his first fight back Gary said, “I suppose I am naturally reflecting on my previous performance and feel now is a good time to reflect publicly. Many people have commented, tweeted etc. in the aftermath of the Joshua fight and I’ve never really responded. Firstly I want to make clear that it was my choice to take the fight, an opportunity like that I was never going to say no to. I’ll accept any challenge put in front of me. A fight on a scale that size was an eye opener, the whole process of press conferences, TV interviews is something that I am not used to. The PR experience was invaluable. It has mentally prepared me for anything like that again. Remember I am a normal guy who works 9-5, boxing started as a hobby which I seemed to do well in.

“I have the upmost respect for Anthony Joshua, he conducted himself like a true sportsman and gentleman throughout the whole process. I feel no shame in losing to a future world champion. Heavyweight boxing, it is what it is. With 38 stone combined between two men in the ring one of us was always going to get knocked out. Someones ‘0’ had to go if you like. It wasn’t my night. Simple as that.

“The defeat itself I accepted, it’s going to happen in this career at some stage. It was the reaction of people which opened my eyes the most. In the run up to the fight I was surrounded by people. Well wishers, sponsors etc. After the fight was different. The whole experience was a fantastic learning curve. I have viewed many people in a different light. One thing I know is I will always have respect for my fellow boxing colleagues; this sport quite literally can put your life on the line. No time to hate. I will hopefully meet with Anthony again this year and get some top quality sparring done.”