Anthony Joshua’s close ties to the Jewish community were celebrated this week after the world heavyweight champion’s electrifying victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium.
Watford-born, the 27-year-old, who is a regular at the Finchley Amateur Boxing Club, where he first trained when taking up the sport as an 18-year-old, lives with his mum in the Golders Green council flat he bought for her and also owns a £500,000 penthouse in Finchley.
London Lions assistant manager Darren Yarlett still boxes at the same Finchley club and shares the same coach, Sean Murphy – who trained Joshua when he first took up the sport.
He said: “I box at the club a few times a week and Josh comes in and sees everyone. I know him to say hello when I see him in the gym or on the street, he’s a very friendly guy who’s extremely humble and is everything that you see on TV.
“After 10 fights he was asked by the press, “Now you have made some money, what will you buy for yourself?” He replied: “I’m going to buy my amateur club some new punch bags”. That’s the sort of person he is, to see him win at Wembley was amazing for British boxing and everyone involved with his camp.”
Middleweight boxer Tony Milch spent his early years at the same gym, and also trained under the same coaches as the new WBA ‘super’ belt holder. He said: “I’m proud to say I come from the same gym as him.
“He showed the type of man he was when he praised the club, it showed how he remembers all the coaches who give their time to the youth in the sport and the direction they give. I thought he was phenomenal and was impressed with his performance, he was a class act in and out of the ring.”