Anthony Joshua is known for his Hawking and Adonis-like physique – but he didn’t always have an abundance of muscle mass.
Although it’s hard to believe now, the former Unified Heavyweight Champion was once your regular skinny kid.
Photos of a 12-year-old AJ during his time at a Nigerian boarding school show just how thin he was before starting his sporting journey.
After years of athletics training, Joshua finally switched to boxing in 2007 thanks to his cousin and fellow pro, Ben Ilemi.
And he supplemented his boxing with rigorous strength and position training, which had a profound effect on his body.
Joshua seemed unrecognizable from the bean pole kid who had spent time at the Mayflower boarding school in Ikene when he began his professional career at the age of 18.
In an interview with Vogue, he said of his time at boarding school: “I spent about nine months in a boarding school.
“Really tough. No bullshit. The education is, ‘I want you to be a doctor or a lawyer.’ There is no YouTube, no boxing.
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“None of this, it’s either a doctor or a lawyer, simple. That’s why education is important in Nigerian schools, and especially in a boarding school.”
He later added: “Discipline; so from your mistake tomorrow, you’re not going to make the same mistake again, so I believe mistakes are good.”
His transformations continued throughout his much-discussed career.
AJ weighed a whopping 18 stone for his win over Carlos Takam in October 2017, but dropped significantly for Do or Die’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. two years later, tipping the scales at 16 stone and 13 lbs. .
However, he put some shape back last September for his unfortunate defense against Oleksandr Usik, who weighed more than 17 stone.
The Watford Warriors are currently gearing up for a crunch rematch with the Ukrainian southpaw, who had a masterclass in their Tottenham clash.
The match was initially to be held at the end of March but now work is going on for April.
Promoter Eddie Hearn recently said: “I think April is realistic for that fight.
“Before you know it, it’s going to be February and a lot of these fights take place.
“For us, the preferred date and location for that fight would be the UK, in which case we would have to fight outside, so we’re not really interested in doing that fight in March.
“AJ has been training relatively solidly since the fight.
“Actually if you start your training camp in February, April also gets pretty tight, but it’s the preferred date for fighting and I think it’s realistic.”
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