The heavyweight boxing superstar admires Cristiano Ronaldo and is good friends with Troy Deeney, but who does he support?
With numerous titles won and an Olympic gold medal to his name, Anthony Joshua is one of the best heavyweight boxers in the world.
However, the towering pugilist has admitted that football was his first passion when he was growing up in England.
So which football team does the heavyweight boxer support? Goal brings you all the details.
How to watch Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk live (U.S. only)
Which football team does Anthony Joshua support?
Anthony Joshua has said on a number of occasions that he is a supporter of English club Watford – which happens to be his hometown team.
Watford, whose nickname is The Hornets, were established in 1881 and have been a regular fixture in England’s top divisions, though the closest they have come to winning the league was in 1982-83 when they finished second in what was then the First Division – the precursor to the Premier League.
Joshua was raised in the area in which Watford are based and his link to the club was further strengthened by the fact that his close friend Troy Deeney played for them between 2010 and 2021.
However, interestingly, in 2017 he declared that he is also a Real Madrid fan, purely because Cristiano Ronaldo was playing for them at the time.
In fact, it seems that ‘AJ’ prefers to follow the fortunes of an individual footballer, such as Ronaldo, rather than a team specifically.
“I grew up in Watford and a couple of the Watford players used to get their hair cut in the local barbers, so I support Watford,” Joshua told Virgin Radio.
“My good friend Troy Deeney plays for them as a striker so I’ve got a lot of love for where I grew up – Watford FC.
“But my overall favourite, because of the one man, Cristiano Ronaldo, I’m going to roll with Real Madrid.”
It is unclear whether Joshua’s club allegiance followed Ronaldo to Juventus or Manchester United, but his admiration for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner remains untarnished.
In 2021, ahead of his fight with Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Joshua was asked if he was inspired by Ronaldo’s longevity, which has seen the striker’s career endure into his late 30s.
“He’s only kicking a football, isn’t he? What a man,” Joshua told the Metro.
“We always compare ourselves to the one in a billion: he’s one in a billion and we always seem to compare ourselves to that guy.
“I can’t chase the Cristiano Ronaldo dream. Cristiano is one of the people I see asking for strength and courage. It comes with hardship but at the end of it is self-satisfaction.”
As well as his friend Deeney and idol Ronaldo, Joshua has been seen rubbing shoulders with other footballers, such as Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold.
In 2020, as part of an EA Sports ’roundtable’, Joshua had a long discussion with Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
Is Anthony Joshua on FIFA?
Yes. Anthony Joshua has worked with EA Sports for a number of years and has been a feature of the FIFA 20 and FIFA 21 video games.
The champion heavyweight boxer was a playable character in the Volta mode of the game, which simulates street football.
“I grew up playing a lot of street football,” Joshua said when talking about his inclusion in the game. “I was one of those kids that were always out of the house.”
In 2020, ahead of the release of FIFA 21, Joshua revealed that football was his “first passion” and that he thinks he would have been a defender if he made it as a professional.
Speaking to Mbappe and Henry, he joked: “I would have caused you both big problems if I was ever a Premier League footballer!”