Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
Golders Green boxer Anthony Joshua relishing Olympic challenge
12:55pm Wednesday 20th June 2012 in Sport
At just 22 years old, Anthony Joshua or "AJ" as he likes to be known, shot to boxing stardom by beating Italian Olympic gold medalist and two time world champion, Roberto Cammarelle at the World Championships in Baku securing his qualification for 2012.
Swiftly rising in the ranks from 46th at the beginning of 2011 to fourth in the world by the end of the year, Joshua, who live in Golders Green, has a career record of 31 wins from 34 bouts.
Now on a mission to win gold in London, AJ is currently in lock down in Sheffield with Team GB at the English Institute of Sport, training virtually 24/7.
"Training is now so intense," said the Watford-born super heavyweight who is 6ft 6 and weighs 91kg. "For six days a week I run in the morning, followed by sprints and cardio work. Then it's breakfast followed by the gym for sparring, shadow boxing, technical work and stretching."
Motivated by his love of the sport and the discipline it gives him, Joshua is determined also to give something back and encourage budding young athletes into sport. As an ambassador for independent athlete support programme, the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF), he is a positive role model to inspire future generations.
"I know from personal experience that it is easy to lack direction as a teenager and it was only when I started boxing at the age of 18 that I began to learn the lessons that have got me where I am today," Joshua said.
He walked into a boxing gym four years ago with his cousin, hit a punch bag and hasn't looked back since.
In May 2010 AJ became senior ABAE Champion and international recognition followed when he was added to team GB Boxing's Development Squad.
The boxer said: "I still can't believe I'm a real contender for a medal at the Olympics in my home town. I'm really looking forward to seeing the Olympic village and how London will look – it's an incredible opportunity for me and I'm determined to make my family proud."
Like many talented athletes, Joshua struggles with funding his sport. He won an award this year from the GSF to help achieve his potential. Once the Olympics is over, he is also hoping his links with the sporting charity will enable him to interact more with children in his local area and show how discipline and hard work can help achieve life and sporting goals.