ANTHONY JOSHUA has been described as a role model by Irish boxing star Joe Ward.
The light-heavyweight star has been around the Briton for a few years – from their time in the amateurs to sharing professional camps in Sheffield after both moved into the paid ranks.
Joshua, a gold medalist at the London Olympics in 2012 has gone on to be one of the biggest stars in the sport.
He currently holds three of the four main heavyweight titles after avenging his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr earlier this year – and will next face Kubrat Pulev and Tyson Fury.
Ward and Joshua, 30, have shared camps in Sheffield over the years and the Irishman was keen to praise Joshua’s rise to the top of the game.
Speaking on the Rocky Road: Rewind podcast, Ward said: “Yeah I was in a few training camps when Anthony was training there so I’d know him quite well. We’d see each other when I’m there.
“Anthony is a nice guy and a great role model for boxing. What more can he do?
“He’s nearly done it all as an amateur and as a professional so you have to give him credit.
“Especially since he only started boxing fierce old – as we would say.
“He only started boxing when he was 18 or 19 so to go along and achieve everything he has achieved in this short space of time says a lot for himself and the work and effort he put into it.”
Ward is currently waiting to get back in the ring after a horror start to his pro career – when he dislocated his knee in his debut at Madison Square Garden.
However, he is fighting fit now and ready to answer the bell for the first round whenever the sport returns after the coronavirus lockdown.
Ward recalled: “Obviously my debut was a disaster for me regarding what happened to my knee.
“Everything was going really well in camp – I was really looking forward to making my debut in Madison Square Garden.
“What a place to fight – what a place to be given an opportunity to make your debut and then for a freak accident like that to happen – it was a big set-back for me.
“Look, it’s one of these thing you have to get over and move on.”