Ahead of his fight with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium at the end of April, British Nigerian boxer Anthony Joshua covers GQ Magazine photographed by Mario Vivanco. In the inside pages, the 27-year-old talks about the upcoming fight which is defined as “the biggest and richest fight post-war Britain has ever seen” as well as his teenage years, daily routine and dreams for the future.
Born Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua in Watford, the boxer grew up in a housing estate. A late starter in the sport, Joshua only began boxing in 2007, aged 18, when his cousin suggested he take it up.
On his plans
“When I first started, the aim was to become a multi-millionaire. But now there are ordinary people, grandmas and granddads, who are worth millions just because of property prices. So the new school of thought is that I need to be a billionaire. Being a millionaire is good but you have to set your sights higher. If I am making £10 million from my next fight, my next target has to be making ten times that. And if I get to £100m-15om, why not go for the billion? I know self-made billionaires. It’s hard, but it’s not possible.”
On his teenage years
“Honestly, back then, I was just living day-to-day. If you’d asked me what I wanted to do for work it wouldn’t have extended beyond bricklaying and working on a building site. My thinking was, ‘How can I get by?’ There was never a long-term vision of ‘I want to get a mortgage and buy a house.’ Everything was short-term: ‘OK, this week I’m gonna make a quick £250.’ I wasn’t setting myself goals, making plans or nothing like that.”
On his upcoming fight
“I think I will knock Klitschko out. I’m not superstitious about it, but I have a feeling that it will happen in a slightly unexpected way. It will be something like a counterpunch that will finish it. It won’t be quick… It will take time because he is so experienced and he isn’t easy to hit. But I will find my opportunity and I will take it.”