Anthony Joshua pays tribute to Muhammad Ali

anthony joshua
Esther Lin/Showtime
'Muhammad Ali changed boxing forever,' says Anthony Joshua

ANTHONY JOSHUA, the Olympic gold medallist and reigning IBF heavyweight world champion, has paid tribute to Muhammad Ali, who died on Saturday aged 74.

“Ali was a legend of our sport. He changed boxing forever,” Joshua tells today’s edition of ES Magazine.

“For me as a kid he inspired me to represent myself like a champion in and out of the ring. I never got the chance to meet him,” he continued but adds, “his legacy will live on.”

Joshua does reveal a touch of ambivalence about the harsher aspects of the sport. “My coach makes me understand how dangerous this sport is. I try not to think about it. I want to knock my next opponent out, I definitely want him down. But I walk around and people are shouting, ‘AJ knock him out! Knock him out!’ And it’s weird. Imagine people applauding you for committing a crime. It’s like that for me. You really don’t think about the crime until you get caught. If anything ever happened to one of my opponents after I hit them and I caused them injury, I would realise what a serious business this is,” he said.

The full interview appears in this week’s issue of ES Magazine, out today 

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