Anthony Joshua recalls the time he fought six men on his own after ‘going out for chicken’ and opens up on his future in boxing
Joshua admitted 'maybe I should stop if I can't deal with it [the pressure].'
Anthony Joshua has recalled the time he fought six men on his own after ‘going to get some chicken’ – showing off the scars he still has from that scrap.
In a wide-ranging interview with Louis Theroux, the 2012 Olympian discussed his future in boxing and the pressure he finds himself under in his pursuit to becoming a three-time heavyweight champion.
Joshua has fought 29 times as a professional – 12 of those world title fights including wars with Wladmir Klitschko, Andy Ruiz Jr and Oleksandr Usyk.
His ferocious power was on show again in the summer, flooring Robert Helenius with a thunderous right hook in what was the 23rd knockout win of his career.
But it was a scrap in a local takeaway as a youngster that left him with one of his more memorable battle scars.
Showing Theroux his hands, Joshua said: ‘My skin doesn’t heal to well.
‘This knuckle, I was going to get chicken one evening and I ended up fighting six guys on my own. Massive. Really good scrap.’
Joshua picked up his first world title back in April 2016 after sweeping aside Charles Martin to win the IBF title. Over the next two years, he added the WBA and WBO titles to his collection to become unified world champion.
His world came crashing down in June 2019, suffering a shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr to lose his world titles in New York. Six months later, he bounced back, becoming a two-time world champion after outclassing Ruiz in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua was once again dethroned in September 2021 by Oleksandr Usyk, with the Ukrainian turning in another masterful performance in a rematch the following year. The pressure on the Briton boiled over that night, launching into a passionate speech before throwing Usyk’s world titles out of the ring. In a post-fight press conference, he broke down in tears.
Having bounced back with two wins in 2023 working with a new trainer, Joshua remains in the hunt for more world title opportunities. But on the pressure of trying to become a three-time heavyweight champion, Joshua admitted ‘it’s too much’.
‘People create this narrative and put pressure on me,’ Joshua said. ‘Gone are the days where it was for the fun. When you’re just doing it for the passion, you’re a prospect.’
He continued: ‘This is all I know, this is what I dedicate my life to.
‘Do I want to get myself to the championship? I would love to. Am I going to be smart in how I get there? Yes. Do I know more about boxing than I used to? 100 per cent. Am I still trying to improve as a boxer? Yes.
‘From where I began, to going on to achieving, it’s never enough. All this ‘can he be three-time champion of the world?’ It’s too much. Maybe I should stop if I can’t deal with it.’
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