Anthony Joshua recalls life crossroads: Smoke, drink or focus on boxing
Anthony Joshua had some interesting points to address in the latest press conference for his June 1 clash with Jarrell Miller.
Once the conversation turned to opportunities being handed to him, Joshua divulged the background from his point of view.
“You know I come from a great family. My mother raised me well, my father raised me well, my aunts and uncles, my brothers and sisters. We all look after each other,” said the world heavyweight champion.
Joshua decided to bring his past to the forefront, charting the journey he took which changed his life.
“My cousin was fighting at the time. I got banned from where I grew up. Got in too much trouble, and moved out of the area.
“I sat down in boxing because I used to drive my cousin. I was making money. Had the car back then. I used to sit back and think that looks easy.
“He lent me 35 pounds, about 25 dollars, I went to buy boxing boots and he gave me some shorts. Then I started training, I got beaten up a bit. I beat a few people up,” he pointed out.
After realising his potential, Joshua would embark on the adventure that turned him into a PPV star, altering his persona along the way.
“From that point forward I realised do I want to smoke and drink? Face the verge of jail or do I want to focus on boxing?”
“If you look at the state of my hands, this isn’t from boxing. This is from street fighting. So I realised I was getting in trouble for fighting in the streets. But getting patted on the back for boxing, so I started boxing.”
From a short amateur career, Anthony Joshua was able to claim gold at the Olympics before turning over as a professional.
His future held more success right to the pinnacle of the sport.
“Boxing to me isn’t about Jarrell Miller, it’s not about Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte, it’s about me – what does it make me, as a person.
“I changed my lifestyle around, my family’s lifestyle around. We’re impacting the community. All my friends over here, we have some great plans for the community. That’s what impact means to me.”
The 29 year old quickly became an ambassador for the sport. Serving knockouts left, right and centre and progressing his career in a speedy manner.
A US debut is now on the horizon in New York, when Joshua heads to Miller’s own back yard.
“This is what I know, this what I do. I don’t know no football, no rugby, no NFL, no basketball, no kickboxing. I like knocking people out, to beat them up. All this spirit this boy (Miller) has in him, talking s***. I’m going to strip it from him,” Joshua promised.
“Every ounce of spirit he’s got, that’s what I do to people. I’m going to strip him of his soul in that ring.
“Talk about seven rounds, I will still be there fighting strong, if he’s still in there.
“Look at his face, I’m going to reconstruct his face on June 1. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller