Joshua calms injury fears

Anthony Joshua has allayed fears that he may have suffered a significant injury after being pictured on crutches and wearing a leg brace while attending a Black Lives Matters event in his hometown of Watford at the weekend.

With his mandatory defence against IBF No.1 Kubrat Pulev still waiting for a new date and venue following its postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some wondered if that fight might be in further jeopardy.

But the WBA Super, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion clarified the nature of the injury in a statement on Sunday evening. 

“Respect for the supporters concerned about my leg,” said Joshua. “I [hurt] my knee running miles in the woods. [The doctor] said take all weight off it for two to three weeks. Still training, still active, still punching. Two weeks to [go], then it’s off.”

Joshua also challenged those who had criticised him for not observing social distancing during the Black Lives Matters protest.

“I understand the concerns in regards to social distancing,” he said. “However, I hope those who are complaining about social distancing have the same energy about those gathering for a day at the beach [and] those going to the park for a picnic.”

At the event, Joshua had stressed the need to lead the black youth away from the perils of gang culture. Having turned his life around after trouble with the law in his younger days, Joshua stated that he would invest money in the black community in Watford and said it was important for the British government to do the same.

“I know I’ve taken my street knowledge and put it into the corporate world and I’ve gained a lot of respect in that sense. So anyway, gang culture is done,” said Joshua.

“We have to engage with the youth and put an end to black youth gang culture. This postcode war – how many houses do we own on that postcode that we’re fighting for?

“Let’s inject the vaccine. Every life matters, 100 per cent I agree with that. But that does include black lives and that’s why we’re here today. George Floyd – we’re all aware of his name – was the catalyst in a list that is already way, way, way too long.”