Anthony Joshua has opened up on his humble beginnings as a boxer to reveal he used to get beat up and didn’t consider himself a boxer until his first fight.
‘AJ’ made his first foray into the ring in 2009 after first lacing up a pair of gloves in 2007. It only took three years for Joshua to claim Olympic gold.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Recently, speaking on Apple Music’s ‘Songs for Life’, Joshua went over his transition from the streets of London to the surroundings of Finchley Boxing Club.
Asked about the first time he fought, Joshua began: “A few times that we used to box in the car parks, and we used the books outside our shop. But I just have a few memories of just getting beaten up earlier.
“Just people who are more experienced than me in the gym. Remember, I didn’t start off where I was today.
“I started off and I couldn’t even skip. I didn’t even have my rhythm skipping. So I started off in the mirror, like jabbing. Bring it back to your head. Right hand. But that’s how we started off.”
ANTHONY JOSHUA – THE BOXER
On eventually thinking of himself as a boxer, the current world champion added: “I think. Me and my cousin, we made a truce. We noticed that everyone was buying all the gear, but I had no idea.
“So we said until we have our first fight, we’re not going to claim we’re boxers. Because it was cool when we were all from the local gym, and we used to go out on the weekend.
“We’ll be telling all the girls, “Yeah. We do a bit of boxing. We’re boxers.” Like getting the love, you know what I’m saying? But none of us have ever had a fight yet. We’re still training.
“So until I had my first fight, I never claimed myself as a boxer. But once I fought, I wore that shield of honor with pride. Yeah. So that was one.
“The second one is when I stepped away from the hustling. I remember speaking to one of my pals and was like, “I think I can make it at this boxing game. I think this boxing game’s for me.”
“You can’t have one foot in and one foot out. I just wanted to take the full leap into this boxing world, and just see how far I could take it. And that was it really.”
Songs For Life aired on Apple Music and is available on demand at apple.co/_SongsForLife