The first time Anthony Joshua set foot in a boxing gym, he decided it would also be the last. But, nursing his aches and pains days later, he quickly decided nothing could beat the buzz of battling the punch bag, and threw himself into the life of the boxer.
Since then he’s gone on to represent the UK at the Olympics – bagging gold – been crowned the WBC international heavyweight champion and embarked upon a professional career marked by first and second round knockouts.
Not bad for a lad from Watford who didn’t get into the sport until after his eighteenth birthday.
In-between a heavy training regime (and playing brand new video game Destiny: The Taken King) FHM sat down with Joshua to talk training, turning pro and hammering opponents...
FHM: You Turned Down Nearly $65,000 To Turn Pro In 2010, What Impact Did That Have On Your Life At That Time?
“It wasn’t the best option for me at the time. Turning it down allowed me to box with Team GB at the Olympics, which was life changing."
FHM: In What Way?
“The whole event was just amazing. The major difference was the level of support for all of the athletes. The Olympic final was fantastic. The whole arena was buzzing."
FHM: What Has The Hardest Element Been Of Adapting To The Pro Game?
“Being a pro you need to go the distance in terms of rounds, so the training is much tougher to prepare you for potentially going the full twelve."
FHM: Explain How You Change Your Style For A Taller Opponent?
“My approach and style won’t change that much. If anything, fighting a taller opponent is good for me. Some of the opponents I’ve fought have been shorter, which means I have to reach down a lot."
FHM: With Your Power, Are Sparring Partner Particularly Difficult To Find?
“My trainer helps find the right guys for me to be training with. There are some really exciting young prospects in the UK heavy weight division and they are keen to get the training in too, so we don’t really struggle to find partners."
FHM: You’re Known For Knockouts In The Early Rounds. What’s The Key To Getting That Much Power When It Comes To Training?
“My training is really varied. I do a lot of work to make sure I can pack a lot of power in but it is all about endurance. Although a lot of my professional fights have been short, I need to be prepared for them to go the full distance, so I can’t concentrate so heavily on power."
FHM: You Have A Ruthless Streak In The Ring Reminiscent Of A Young 'Iron' Mike Tyson, Is There A Point When You Land A Shot And Just Know That The End Is Near?
“You can feel when the momentum is on your side but in heavyweight boxing it’s really important not to get complacent – it will only ever take one shot to knock you down".
FHM: You Read And Play Chess. How Does That Factor Into Your Boxing Training?
“Mental training is equally as important. The chess is great because it is all tactics and strategy. I love reading too, although I don’t have as much time to do it as I’d like to."
FHM: Which Exercise Would Take Most Non-Boxers By Surprise?
“I do a lot of flexibility work and deep muscle massage, which can look a bit strange. I put a lot of it up on my Instagram so take a look."
FHM: Is Roadwork A Must For Heavyweights?
“Definitely. It’s really important to get the right level of cardio done. I tend to get up really early and get my running done while it’s still quiet outside. Obviously it can be harder in the winter."
FHM: How Do You Motivate Yourself To Get Out Of Bed At 4 a.m. Every Morning?
“I enjoy training, but it can be tough when you have to be ultra-disciplined in the run up to the fight. But, you need to make sure that your preparation for a fight is the very best it can be. Even on Christmas Day I will be out first thing in the morning."