Anthony Joshua believes boxing helped turn his life around as he prepares for his crunch clash with Joseph Parker, according to The Mirror.
The 28-year-old got in with a bad crowd as a youngster but knuckled down to win gold at the London 2012 Olympics.
Joshua hasn’t looked back and the WBA Super and IBF heavyweight champion will be looking to add the WBO belt to his haul when he takes on Parker at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on March 31.
He admits things could have been different if he hung up his gloves, but insists the stardom has not gone to his head.
He said, “Boxing helped me reach my potential as a person, not just from a sports perspective, but to become a disciplined and more mature man that takes care of my household. That’s what sport has given me.
“I haven’t lost touch with anything that used to go on — I’m still in touch with reality — and I think people respect that.
“The slogan ‘stay humble’ doesn’t mean taking a lot of nonsense and sit back and hide in your corner.
“It just means treat the person on the street who doesn’t have a home to live in with the same respect of a person who lives in a palace.
“It’s an equal playing field — you treat everyone with the same respect.”
Joshua joined the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Roger Federer by plying his trade on the renowned helipad roof of Jumeirah’s Burj Al Arab in Dubai before the fight was announced.
He added, “It was an experience. The opportunity came about and you grab it with both hands. It’s an iconic spot, and some of the high end athletes have performed their tricks and skills on there.
“The view was great — it was a special moment.”