Anthony Joshua recalls difficulty of speaking in front of Queen Elizabeth II

Joshua is preparing to fight Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Saturday 01 April 2023 09:27 BST
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Anthony Joshua has recalled the difficulty of speaking in front of Queen Elizabeth II, saying it was a situation that he had ‘never, ever been prepared for’.

Joshua, a former two-time world heavyweight champion, is set to fight Jermaine Franklin at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, in a bid to bounce back from two straight losses to Oleksandr Usyk.

Ahead of his main-event bout with American Franklin, Joshua spoke to reporters about the sacrifices he has made during his career.

“The biggest sacrifice is probably... you know, in this business, you have to be open,” said Joshua, 33. “People want to have a look into your life if you achieve something. Like: ‘This guy came from there, how did he manage to get to there?’

“There’s an interest. The sacrifice is: I’m putting myself forward in a position that I’ve never been nurtured for. The sacrifice is: I’m standing up in front of the Queen, for example, reading a speech at Westminster Abbey that I’ve never, ever really been prepared for.

“I’ve never come from that walk of life. The sacrifice is: getting up there and presenting yourself ot the public. But after that gig, I’m going back to the estate with my mates and stuff like that.

“You’re opening up yourself to higher expectations in life.”

Joshua spoke in front of the royal family in 2020 as part of the Commonwealth Day service.

As an amateur, Joshua won Olympic gold at London 2012, and he went on to become unified world heavyweight champion as a professional.

“AJ” lost the titles to Andy Ruiz Jr with a surprise TKO defeat in June 2019, before regaining the belts by outpointing the Mexican-American six months later.

Joshua then lost the titles again in 2021 with a decision defeat by Oleksandr Usyk, who retained the belts against the Briton in a rematch last August. Usyk was once again a decision winner over Joshua, who has not fought since.

The 33-year-old is back in action on Saturday, however, fighting Franklin in London.

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