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Anthony Joshua sets his sights high, wants to become boxing’s Roger Federer

Anthony Joshua, the WBA, IBF and IBO world champion, recognises that most of those who are regarded as overall sporting legends also conduct themselves with grace, like Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer.

other sports Updated: Nov 29, 2017 09:29 IST
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Anthony Joshua,Roger Federer,Boxing
(File pic) Anthony Joshua (right) in action during their IBF, WBA & IBO Heavyweight Championship bout against Carlos Takam at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on October 28, 2017.(Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua wants to create a boxing legacy similar to the one that Roger Federer has built in tennis.

The WBA, IBF and IBO world champion is on the cusp of greatness within boxing, but recognises that most of those who are regarded as overall sporting legends also conduct themselves with grace.

Federer, a 19-time Grand Slam winner in tennis, is widely considered the greatest tennis player of all time and Joshua has ambitions to put himself in that class.

“I do understand now, I have to play the game if I want to create a legacy,” the 28-year-old Briton told Sky Sports News.

“I think I understand now, everything I have to gain and everything I have to lose.

“I’ve never played a role. But look at the likes of Muhammad Ali, who became a sporting icon.

“Before I was happy to just be a part of boxing, and felt wherever I get to, it was always better than where I started. I never had a minute to reflect.

“But now I want to stamp my mark and my legacy, and be among the likes of Federer.

“If I want to be considered like these guys, I have to carry myself the right way.

“I want to be like the [Cristiano] Ronaldos, [Lionel] Messis, Federers who compete with [Rafael] Nadal, [Andy] Murray. That’s where I want to take boxing.

“There’s a lot of clowns in my industry, jealousy and negativity. I swerve them.”

A host of fighters have been touted as potential opponents for Joshua, with compatriot Tyson Fury, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and WBO belt holder Joseph Parker all in contention.

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 09:28 IST