Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua wants to open a nursing home for retired boxers | Boxing

Anthony Joshua has said he is considering opening a residency for retired boxers with health problems.

Speaking to Lauren Laverne on Sunday’s episode of BBC Radio 4 Desert Island DiscsThe former world heavyweight champion said he had discussed the issues facing former fighters with his former boxing coach, John Oliver.

“They suffer alone, that’s why we’ve been talking about opening a nursing home,” Joshua said. “That would be part of my legacy in boxing: that I gave something back to the sport that shaped me.”

The 34-year-old boxer reflected on the dangers of his sport. “The only thing I hope is to keep my health intact. Because the most important thing you are risking is your health,” he said.

“We can notice it in fighters when their health deteriorates, but we never talk about it among ourselves. The only thing we focus on is winning.”

Joshua described how boxing helped him change his life as a teenager. Born in Watford, he spent part of his childhood at a boarding school in Nigeria.

It was during his teenage years, in the UK, that Joshua had run-ins with the police and was eventually banned from Watford city center for fighting. “I started getting into trouble; I wanted to make money doing business,” he said. When Joshua was 17, his mother moved to London and he dedicated himself to selling drugs: “I was kind of a vagabond. “I moved to a shelter.”

His cousin Ben introduced him to Finchley Amateur Boxing Club. “I’m very happy to have found boxing; it changed me a lot,” he said. “You can change your life if you focus.” Three years later, Joshua was competing in the Olympic Games. This August marks 12 years since he took home a gold medal at London 2012, with a victory over Roberto Cammarelle. Olympic training was “really hard,” he said, and he told Laverne that the psychological pressure can be intense, especially when he faces defeat. “I’ve broken down when I lost before.” He revealed that he once spent five days in a dark room to help himself “heal.”

Joshua added: “That’s why I love music. “Music can always set the tone for what I’m trying to achieve.” Among his eight tracks is the classic boxing anthem Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger, which Joshua often trains with, and Stormzy’s Shut Up, an earlier walk-in-the-ring track.

Joshua said he is putting energy into the business side of boxing to ensure a safe retirement. When Laverne asked him about his decision to fight big-money fights in Saudi Arabia, which has been criticized for its poor human rights record, he said: “I’m there for boxing. “I don’t get involved in politics.”

Their son, JJ, is eight years old. Joshua hopes not to follow him into boxing. “If he had to choose, he would ask her to study accounting.”

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