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Home » Anthony Joshua admits getting “beaten up” and “couldn’t even skip”

Anthony Joshua admits getting “beaten up” and “couldn’t even skip”

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  • 3 min read

Anthony Joshua never took to boxing in the early days and struggled to get going despite showing promise.

Joshua opened up on his humble beginnings as a boxer. He revealed to Apple Music’s Songs For Life that he used to get beat up and didn’t consider himself a boxer until his first proper fight.

Anthony Joshua

‘AJ’ made his first foray into the ring in 2009 after 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.

Speaking to “Songs for Life” a while back, Joshua went over his transition from London’s streets to Finchley Boxing Club’s surroundings.

Beaten Up

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 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 where I was today.

“I started, and I couldn’t even skip. I didn’t even have my rhythm skipping. So I started in the mirror, like jabbing. Bring it back to your head, then a right hand. But that’s how we started off.”

No idea

On eventually thinking of himself as a boxer, the current world champion added: “I think. Me and my cousin made a truce. We noticed everyone was buying all the gear, but I had no idea.

“So we said until 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. 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, saying, “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 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

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