Anthony Joshua has little time for love as the heavyweight champion of the world, but clearly life in lockdown has led to him thinking a bit more about romance and the future.
The IBF, WBA and WBO king is still waiting to actually fight in 2020 after the current global COVID-19 pandemic put paid to his planned mandatory title defence against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in June. It is still hoped that fight can take place later this year, but a suitable venue has yet to be found.
In the meantime Joshua has spoken exclusively to The Sun about a number of topics – including his love life. AJ admits “it would be nice to find a high school sweetheart and to grow together” but also explains that his current career means a meaningful relationship would mean him compromising his boxing life. So for now, unlikely.
Joshua though did give another point of view, saying that dating somebody who understands the celebrity life he leads might actually be a good thing.
He explained: “Maybe I need to get off the estate and start going to celebrity parties – maybe do something different.
“I hope I will – and probably meeting someone else who understands fame would make sense. I would hope so. But it needs to be someone down to earth, family-orientated – someone who can call my mum their second mum.
“It takes time to grow that and, as I said, now I am older I am stuck in my ways. As I get older it would be nice to bring someone into my world but it’s dependent on who and I just haven’t found someone yet.
“Maybe we can go on a hunt. We have all the time now.”
The whole of Britain – and a fair portion of the entire world – is desperate to see Joshua fight British rival Tyson Fury in a blockbusting unification match. But the current pandemic means that won’t happen until 2021 at the earliest – both AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Fury himself have already mooted the likelihood of a double-header then.
For now the likely absence of a live gate (Fury’s rematch with Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas for instance netted just under $17m) and uncertainty about whether COVID will hit pay-per-view sales, means boxing at the highest level is still some way off.
Joshua said: “In my own mind I had mentally written off most of this year but, if I was to fight this year, it would probably be November or December. It’s difficult at the moment knowing how you cover the costs, and whether you could charge people in the circumstances for pay per view.”