World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua posted what seemed an honest and humble picture of himself engaging in prayer alongside two friends in a mosque this week, only to be bombarded by hateful comments on social media.
The 27 year-old, who has been enjoying some downtime before serious camp for his massive April 29 clash with Wladimir Klitschko begins, divided opinion via his accounts on what would have been devout Muslim Muhammad Ali’s 75th birthday.
“Besides luck, hard work and talent, prayer is a solid foundation. It was nice to join my brother as he led through afternoon prayer,” said Joshua.
Besides luck, hard work & talent.. Prayer is a solid foundation. It was nice to join my brother as he led through afternoon prayer (asr) ???????? pic.twitter.com/KJ4f2lu3mP
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) January 17, 2017
Whilst some embraced the snap, some gave back vile abuse and vowed not to follow the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in his quest to unify the division.
Ali, who sadly passed away in 2016, was the world’s most recognizable promoter of the faith, for which Joshua had now faced horrid opposition for in some quarters.
‘AJ’ is set to face ex-ruler Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in what was announced this week to be a record-breaking event. Over 80,000 tickets have already been sold, eclipsing Carl Froch and George Groves’ second meeting at the venue in May 2014.
Promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to increase the capacity to almost 90,000 for the contest, which will see the victor walk away with three of the five world titles on offer at 200 pounds plus.
“The demand for tickets for Joshua vs Klitschko is phenomenal – this is unquestionably the biggest fight in British boxing history and we would have sold out Wembley twice over,” said Hearn.
“We have put a request into Brent Council, the Mayor’s office and TFL to increase the capacity by a further 5,000 tickets. We are confident of a positive answer and we will release further news shortly. Roll on April 29!”