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Anthony Joshua, the Hertfordshire bricklayer who has become British boxing’s greatest star, is a busy boy. After months of trying to find a gap in his schedule, we finally isolate a weekend in Watford. Within 24 hours, that’s shifted to a Friday in Sheffield, and a modern, unremarkable cul-de-sac on the edge of town. Here, in what appears to be a block of student accommodation, Authentic Bruce Bowen Youth Jersey I almost trip over my 6ft 6in interviewee, who is doing stretches on the floor in the middle of a cluttered sitting room-cum-kitchen. Around the place, his team squat on beanbags, scrolling through their phones and sharing jokes; on a flat-pack table are stacked plastic boxes filled with the day’s meals. This, surely, is not the stuff of boxing legend. Don’t be fooled. A month out from his fight with Wladimir Klitschko – or “Doctor Steelhammer”, as he is also known – 27-year-old Joshua is leaving nothing to chance. The relaxed surroundings aren’t a sign of his complacency about taking on a 41-year-old whose last fight, against Tyson Fury in 2015, ended in defeat; they’re about stripping it back to basics. “My new saying at the minute,” he tells me, “is: ‘I’m grinding like it’s 2005’” – the year he was still on civvy street, yet to step into a boxing ring. It’s 10am, and Joshua has returned from his four-mile canal run (days after we meet he posts a picture of himself shadow-boxing on the towpath on Instagram; the Daily Mail reports it, such is the interest in him). For all the world as if he’s slipping into a pair of comfy old jeans, he puts on an extraordinary contraption – compression trousers that inflate and deflate like a blood pressure cuff, wheezing gently, and settles down to talk. So, I ask. You’re in digs, you train at a public facility where it can take you a while to get through the crowds to your session. What’s that all about? He laughs. “Yeah, we’re accessible, which is good. I think being a boxer you have to be a man of the people. It’s old-school, isn’t it? When you think of boxing, you think of the Rocky films, you know what I mean?” The Rocky reference is interesting. He captioned that Insta picture: “My Rocky IV moment.” Joshua did not grow up obsessed by boxing, watching re-runs of the great bouts. “Never watched it,” he says. Authentic Allen Bailey Womens Jersey “Not into sport.” He clarifies. “I like the entertainment. I would definitely watch football. I would go with my pals to watch a game. I’m not against it. But for some reason I don’t understand how the leagues work and what’s the point in playing friendlies? I’m not going to go and sell out Wembley to have a friendly fight with Klitschko.” He roars with laughter. There’s a paradox emerging: Joshua is exceptionally committed. For the foreseeable future his life is “ring, ring, ring”. No time for girlfriends, no parties, no clubs, no celebrity hi-jinks. Indeed, he still lives with his mum, social worker Yeta Odusanya, in Golders Green, north London. He has an infant son, with former partner Nicole Osbourne, but thinks of retirement as the point when he will really be able to spend time with him. The team he’s assembled around him – from Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing to his coach Rob McCracken, trainers, PR people, and the friends who accompany him – is a slick operation. He is frequently spoken about as a new breed of professional: organised, forward-thinking, tipped to amass serious amounts of money. Despite a couple of brushes with the law (fighting, which saw him put on remand in Reading prison in 2009, possibly its most famous inmate since Oscar Wilde; possession of cannabis in 2011, made slightly worse by the fact he was wearing his GB Boxing tracksuit when he was busted), he is pretty clean-cut. Joshua does not throw tables in press conferences, nor indulge in much trash talk at all. A recent social media “furore” which resulted when he posted a picture of himself praying in a mosque in Dubai – he is not a Muslim, but was with a friend who was, and likes the idea of embracing other cultures and religions in a show of unity – saw him gain 16,000 followers in 24 hours, and numerous expressions of support in the face of the anti-Muslim bile that had greeted the original tweet.

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