Anthony Joshua says that his drive to stay connected with the local community and help other groups is part of a “natural” instinct.

The Watford-born boxer who grew up on the Meriden estate constantly brings up his Watford hometown and tries to “stay connected” with the community despite his fame status.

Speaking to Watford striker Troy Deeney in his new podcast series ‘Deeney Talks’, Joshua explained that to him it’s important to not let go of the things that made him become who he is.

“No matter where we go in life on your way up, you’re probably going to meet the same people on your way down,” said Joshua.

Watford Observer: Hornets skipper Troy Deeney with Anthony JoshuaHornets skipper Troy Deeney with Anthony Joshua

Specifically talking about Finchley & District Amateur Boxing Club, which Joshua continues to use even now, he admitted there will be a time when his fame will pass and he will not be the “top dog” anymore.

“I don’t want to come back to the gym when I’m done with boxing and be told, 'bro you’re not really welcome here',” he said.

He said that he constantly makes an effort to stay connected, as “it’s a natural thing” and part of who he is.

By spending time with the boxing club, and engaging with the Watford community, he believes it’s a great way to inspire others and show people “I’m just like you, you’re just like me”.

“My financial contribution is important,” said Joshua, before adding that him physically being somewhere that members of the public can see, talk and touch the boxer can also help build morale and inspiration. 

Deeney also could not help but bring the conversation back to the nearly finalised Fury v Joshua fight – as he brought up Fury’s claim of ‘drinking 12 pints a day’ while preparing for the contest, which Joshua titled it as“psychological warfare”.

He said: “The man will talk about drinking pints and he’s not interested, but yet he wants to look chiselled, he’s training the hardest he’s ever trained, he’s the skinniest he’s ever been.

“He wants to have a good body, he wants to be well prepared.

Watford Observer: Deeney met Joshua (pictured) at a barbers in Market Street, WatfordDeeney met Joshua (pictured) at a barbers in Market Street, Watford

“He wants to have a six-pack, that’s why he’s training as hard as he’s training right now, why he looks so chiselled, why he’s in America training.

“It’s just psychological warfare to make me not wanna believe in myself.

“However I understand what this is all about and everything he says, I am everything he wants to be.”

He added: “The reason why he’s saying he’s drinking 12 pints is because he knows he could never do that to fight me, he knows what type of fighter I am.”

The world heavyweight champion spent much of last year supporting local leisure facilities and aspiring boxers, including his team up with Revolut – a digital finance company – to donate a minimum of £50,000 to hundreds of boxing gyms.

This includes several gyms in the Watford area, and his regular boxing gym at Finchley & District ABC.

Last year at the Black Lives Matter march in Cassiobury Park, Joshua also said he wants to invest money into Watford to help the local community.

Talking about the negative attitude to boxing, Joshua said: “People ask me would I let my son box, and I say yeah I would, but I would teach him what it means.

“You’re not always going to be number one, but you can track your progression. You can lose today, you can lose tomorrow and you can lose the next day but you might get the upper-hand if you don’t give up.

He added: “That’s what sports and boxing is about.”

Deeney also questioned the boxer about his parenting technique, which Joshua admitted was very “fluid”.

He compared his parenting to his own life experiences, which he felt “suppressed” in expressing his own creativity.

He said: “I’m born with a level of intelligence, it may not be book-smart or whatever, but I have my own intelligence.

“Before a book was ever written, man conquered the world with common sense. With my son, I try and make him use his creativity, whatever he wants to do, I’ll always be there to catch him if he falls.

"I’m never going to kind of force him into anything. He’s not a trophy kid.”

Putting the disaster and negative effects of the pandemic aside, Joshua said a positive aspect was that it gave him a second to “breathe” between his extreme training, big fights and his parenting – as he “stepped back” from a lot of things granting him the time to mature.

With that ability to take a break in mind, Joshua also defined success as the ability to step back, relax more and the ability to sleep.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

For updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletters here.