Anthony Joshua was left with a badly damaged right eye after his heavyweight defeat to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night and was checked over by medics following the 12-round contest.
Usyk continued to land heavy southpaw shots throughout the bout and Joshua’s black eye started to show prominently after the 10th round.
The British heavyweight failed to make use of his 18lb weight advantage over the cruiserweight king who controlled the contest before finishing the final round strongly with a barrage of shots.
Joshua left the ring soon after the unanimous 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 verdict was announced at Tottenham Stadium.
Fight promoter Eddie Hearn said afterwards: “I don’t know if AJ suffered eye socket damage but he’s gone to the hospital now.”
Hearn also said Joshua would have a mandatory rematch and the Brit felt he already knew how he could beat Usyk next time around.
British former super-middleweight champion Carl Froch was a pundit for the fight and said the damage to AJ’s face looked significant but not serious.
Froch added he felt AJ had shown “too much respect” to Usyk whose head movement and ring craft were the key factors as Usyk claimed AJ’s heavyweight WBA, IBF and WBO belts.
Joshua ended the fight pinned to the ropes by a flurry of punches from Usyk who said afterwards he felt he could have knocked his opponent out.
The result is the latest obstacle to AJ finally facing WBC champion Tyson Fury in a fight the boxing world has long wanted to see.
That showdown had already been derailed because Fury now has to fight American Deontay Wilder for a third time on October 9.