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Anthony Joshua – Big fights under bright lights

Anthony Joshua

The atmosphere at the London 2012 Olympics was unreal. The ExCeL Centre, where the boxing took place, was so loud. It was my first major competition on home soil and the nerves were there in the early fights, but when it came to the final I was ready to embrace it. In the changing rooms before the final the noise was incredible.

Standing in the ring before the final fight was a strange experience. The bright lights are shining down on you and you can’t see the crowd, but you can hear them. You could certainly hear them. Winning gold in London was an amazing experience.

I grew up in Watford, Hertfordshire and there's not much going on there for young kids. Everyday activities didn't really revolve around sport – it was just hanging around and seeing what we could do to keep ourselves occupied. It was only once I moved to London with my mum that I saw my cousin boxing. I used to watch him doing his thing and then I said to myself “I’m going to get involved in this.”

Boxing gave me the discipline and challenge that I needed. I'm a hard worker and I always like to challenge myself. I'll never forget my first day of training – I couldn't even get myself home. They worked me so hard I’d be sick.

Before I got on the GB team, I would take myself away to do circuits – extra training sessions on the side. I found out about nutrition and took advice from my coaches – all because I knew I was playing catch up.

The boxing gym would be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but I’d also train on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I tried to mould myself not just as a typical boxer, but as an athlete. I'd do swimming, cycling, tyre flips – everything under the sun. I think regardless of how long you've been in your sport for, if you've got the right training and facilities, there's nothing that can really hold you back.

I think Glasgow 2014 is going to be such a great success. Around Great Britain that buzz is going to start off again. No matter if they’re Scottish, English, Irish or Welsh, whoever’s standing on that podium, I’m going to be cheering for them. It’s the right time – people are going to be ready to dominate after the Olympics and bring those medals home.

What’s next for me? I’m going to be back in the gym soon – probably back to those sessions which push me to the limit. There’s one session I’ll never forget – 10 chin-ups, 10 box jumps, one minute sprinting on the treadmill, nine chin-ups, nine box jumps, one minute sprinting on the treadmill, all the way to one repetition of each. When you get to one rep, you sprint for three minutes on the treadmill. That’s when the sickness comes.

I have this saying – “stay hungry”. I think it came from a documentary about Steve Jobs. He said stay foolish and stay hungry. Live your life, take it all in, crack on and be motivated in whatever you do. 

Find out more about Boxing at Glasgow 2014.

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