During an appearance for sponsor JD Sports, unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua announces a new of working going forward that should allow him some mental latitude
Anthony Joshua has made his first public appearance of the new year at an intimate VIP fan meet and greet at JD in their Oxford Street store.
The two-time world heavyweight champion has kept a low profile since beating Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr in their pivotal rematch in December but joined over 150 eager fans at the retailer’s flagship London outlet where Chuckie and Elz the Witch hosted a live episode of JD’s ‘In the Duffle Bag’ podcast - with AJ as guest.
The WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion spoke of resolutions and goals for the year ahead, adding he’s changing his structure to “free up” his mind: “Normally we’re kinda’ just bulldozing through the year, like anything that comes your way, we’re attacking.
“It just creates more time to then free my mind up for other things, but I’m the same old G, nothing is changing within myself - it’s just the more time I have mentally, the more I’ll be able to think of other stuff.
“I’m just trying to create more time by creating a more structured process in my work life which will free me up to work on myself.”
Joshua was in a relaxed mood in the personal setting, where JDX members and competition winners joined a host of special guests to see the reigning heavyweight champ.
In honour of Blue Monday, JD and Anthony Joshua also surprised one of his biggest fans. Ollie Gibbons, who had been struggling with health issues and the pressures of exams but inspired by AJ’s dominant comeback in Saudi Arabia, was given a surprise meet & greet with AJ and the responsibility of carrying his belts out to the waiting crowd.
Ollie’s mum, Jackie, said "It’s been a lovely experience from start to finish, Ollie and his cousin Josh are still in shock.”
Following the live show, AJ’s supporters took the opportunity for a picture and chat with the Watford-born boxer where he greeted those who admire him.
Also in the crowd cheering on our very own champ were a host of influencers from the worlds of reality TV and social media. Former Love Island contestants including Georgia Steele, Michael Griffiths, Joe Garratt and Laura Anderson joined the likes of Amy Christophers (sports presenter), Brandon Myers & Andrew Henderson.
After meeting his fans, AJ will now turn his attention to his next opponent, as he returns to training to retain his newly-won belts.