Anthony Joshua talks background, court case and staying humble

Lawrence Lustig

British heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua says he’s not getting above his station despite enjoying considerable successes since entering the sport as a youngster.

The 26 year-old Olympic gold medallist stands of the verge of following Tyson Fury as Britain’s next world champion in the top division and needs to overcome American Charles Martin on April 9 to do just that.

It’s a far cry from Joshua’s troubled beginnings when ‘AJ’ got mixed up with the wrong crowd and found trouble with the law, but luckily the fighter came out the other end and is one victory away from sealing a defining night.

“I’ve wisened up, I’ve been through my own fair share. If its hell fire, or clouds on paradise – so be it,” Joshua said on Sky Sports Behind The Ropes.

“I’ve already made the decision of where I want to get to. It’s about self-development for me because that’s what I got into Boxing for. I needed some sort of discipline. I was looking at my own court case at the time, looking at double figures and I happened to end up in a boxing gym. I got found not guilty, carried on with my Boxing and this is where it’s lead me now.

“I wasn’t raised in a big mansion house, so how am I going to go and buy a big mansion house when I don’t know any different. I’m content where I am that’s all I know and it’s working so I’m not really going to rush out and try and punch above my weight. I’m cool where I am right now, it’s working, all I need right now is a bed to sleep in. I’m in the gym, I’m training. I just need somewhere to get my head down and that’s enough for me.

“Boxing to me is fun, I enjoy it, and it helps me develop as a man. I haven’t got to do it, no-ones forcing me to do it. I found it myself, I built this myself, I train by myself so it’s all me. I enjoy it, it’s not by force. I like the people I’m around.”

Addressing his intention to relieve Martin of the coveted IBF belt, Joshua added: “Do I shatter his dreams? I think he knows what’s coming anyway. He walks this earth like a God. I’m blessed, my destiny’s already written.”

Watch the video of Martin v Joshua: Behind The Ropes through Sky Sports’ On Demand