By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
ANTHONY JOSHUA has been giving out food to homeless people – but insists he will not be so charitable in the ring.
The super-heavyweight gold medallist from London 2012 makes his professional debut at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday.
Joshua faces unbeaten Italian Emanuele Leo, 32, with the ultimate aim of winning the world title after deciding not to stay on as an amateur and box at Rio 2016.
Londoner Joshua has taken inspiration for his first pro bout from meeting and feeding two homeless people recently.
He said: “I was in Watford and because I grew up there, I know everyone.
“I was walking to my car and saw a homeless guy I recognized from years ago and he was walking into a chicken shop.
“I saw the guy behind the counter say, ‘No free chicken’, so I walked in and said, ‘What do you want?’
“I was walking further down the street and I saw another homeless guy, so I asked him, ‘How did you end up here?’
“He had no family, no place to live and had been living on the streets for nine months.
“He told me he could go through anything in life now and nothing would break him, that it had made his heart so tough – that’s the mentality of a fighter.
“I sorted him out with some food as well.
“It all relates back to boxing. There are times in the ring and in life where nothing can prepare you for some battles, it’s all about what you have in your heart and head.”
Audley Harrison was Britain’s last Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist before Joshua – yet he did not win the world title.
But Joshua, 23, insists he is hungry for success and said: “I’ve got a lot more to achieve. The Olympics didn’t satisfy me.”