ANTHONY JOSHUA has revealed how the fear of prison attacks helped mould him into a boxing beast.
Back in 2009, AJ served two weeks on remand at Reading prison for what he once described as “fighting and other madness”.
The brief spell was a stark warning to the Watford ace, who swiftly started trying to turn his life around.
AJ walked into Finchley ABC for the first time in 2008, complete with an electronic tag around his ankle.
And he was soon crowned the London 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion after a sensational turnaround.
Speaking to Apple Music, the WBA, IBF and WBO king said: “When I got bailed, that’s when I started learning how to box and lift weights.
“I thought ‘if I’m going to do a long sentence and I’ve got these little idiot kids in the jail, I’m going to back myself’.
“So I started pumping weights, me and my cousin. We bought one of these all-in-one weight machines. So we just put it in the living room, I didn’t have a clue.
“Then I signed up to one of these hard man gyms. Because I was on tag, obviously, I’m out on bail conditions so I got the tag on my leg so I have to be home at eight o’clock every day.
“I was in a strict routine at a time when I was only 17, 18. I think that’s what helped me with my boxing.
“That when I came off of tag, I was already in a position where I was ready to take off with boxing.
“And I just had to kind of whatever work the devil had for me I had to block out and stay focused on a righteous path. And that’s still a battle today, but I know how to manage it.”
RINGSIDE NEWS LIVE: Follow for all the latest Boxing, UFC and WWE updates
Joshua’s inspirational turnaround, from local bad boy to national treasure, has inspired a whole generation of British kids to follow in his giant footsteps.
And the 30-year-old father-of-one reminds his millions of social media followers not to underestimate the blood, sweat and tears that goes into his achievements behind the scenes.
He said: “My goal was never to have 10 Bentleys, 100 Ferraris, etc, because the vision is to uplift first, my family, and then secondly, the community, so, that’s important to me.
“So, that was a sacrifice at the time, when no one really understood what my vision was and it looked like it was all in vain because social media shows the good times.
“Everyone looks like you’re having fun but really behind closed doors, you know when I get back home, I’ve got more work to do.
“Got to continue my training, stretching, I’ve got to read, I’ve got to prepare for tomorrow.
“They’re sacrifices that need to be put in place in order to make the most out of tomorrow.”