Joshua has spoken highly of Manchester United star Ronaldo on several occasions in the past, including a conversation in Dubai with the pair considered two of the best conditioned athletes in their respective sports
Anthony Joshua and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the most successful and well conditioned athletes of the 21st century.
Both have sizeable worldwide fanbases, and are able to attract the attention of millions of eyes when competing.
And pair are also at the top of their respective sports with Joshua currently the reigning unified heavyweight champion of the world.
While Ronaldo has had an illustrious career all across Europe, winning personal accolades year-after-year and has now returned to boyhood club Manchester United.
But the pair have found several aspects of their career in common and are in supreme physical condition, and both arguably at the peak of their powers.
Joshua and Ronaldo have always spoken highly of each other, meeting on rare occasions in Dubai and the UK.
And their relationship has been subject to interest in recent weeks, with Joshua talking to Rio Ferdinand about the success of the Portuguese forward.
Ronaldo has returned to United after his break-out spell at the English giants from 2003 to 2009, where he bagged a monstrous 84 goals in 196 appearances.
But Joshua has compared his own successes to Ronaldo’s in his sport, and revealed his intrigue at the Portuguese superstar’s return to England.
“That’s what I find interesting, him joining Man United is a tough ask, it’s a lot of pressure that he’s gonna be under,” Joshua told William Hill.
“But it’s different in boxing, you can’t have a little last dance, It’s like me having two pints and laying flat on the floor after getting knocked out. There ain’t no last dance.
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“That’s the mental thing with boxing. If you have got your last dance in your mind, you’ve gotta give everything you’ve got.
“What I think when you’re saying all this stuff with Ronaldo, like the chef, in my head it seems like a perfect world, he must have had it nice. Being great is having to go that extra mile time and time again.
“But it’s because when you face that adversity, you’ve lived in this comfort putting yourself at every advantage that you can. So when you’re in adversity you can pull yourself out at the last minute.
“For me, hearing all that stuff, I’m not looking at it like, ‘He lived a happy life, chef, masseuse.’ He just knew how tough it was and he wanted to pull himself out of those tough times, so he went the extra mile.”
Joshua has had to return from the depths during his career, having been defeated in a huge upset against Andy Ruiz Jr on his American debut.
But he immediately showed his character to avenge the defeat in a huge contest in Saudi Arabia, showing his different approach and rounding his boxing skillset.
And despite Ronaldo’s rise being historic and relatively smooth, he has frequently been taken out of his comfort zone leaving Real Madrid to search for a new challenge at Juventus.
But with all of his status and power globally, the 36-year-old has always spoken highly of the Watford-based heavyweight.
And he has recently spoken on a documentary with Joshua’s broadcaster DAZN about a secret conversation they had on holiday in Dubai.
“We had the opportunity to speak last year in Dubai, I was with Joshua and we had a conversation,” Ronaldo told Gennady Golovkin on Parallel Worlds.
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“Thirty-three years old is that age where you start to feel down. “I don’t wanna be in the sport, in football, where people say, ‘Cristiano was an unbelievable player and now he’s slow’.
“I don’t want that. You can take care a lot of your body, the body’s not a problem I don’t think.
“Between watching a football match or a boxing or UFC fight, I choose boxing or UFC.
“I don’t think I could have been a boxer, it’s tough. You have to be born for that, with that gift.”
Ronaldo is currently enjoying a successful start to the season back in England, scoring in every match he has started for the Red Devils.
And his hero reception at Old Trafford could be similar to the one Joshua will receive for tomorrow night’s huge heavyweight clash between Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk.
Ronaldo’s mental strength has been examined by Joshua who is continuing to draw on the goal-machine’s toughness to succeed as time ticks on his career at the top.
And he explained the impact of the Portuguese star’s resilience on his own ambitions, despite conceding defeat in chasing a similar “dream”.
“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.
I want to be known as a throwback fighter, that I took on challenges. That’s what my legacy should be. It would be good for my son as well when he’s older. ‘Yeah, my dad fought everyone…’ I want him to realise I was a man respected for fighting everyone in my division.
I think you’ve got between 36 and 40. So at 36 it’s kind of like, how many more years do you go beyond that? Do you do the full yard to 40? Forty seems like the age where it’s like, ‘okay, you’ve done this for a long time now’. So yeah, 36 to 40 is when I look at my career.
So the illustrious pair have been through the highs, intense fame and the pressures that come with it as they continue to chase their ultimate dreams.
Although Joshua is considerably behind Ronaldo in terms of his ambition in reaching the pinnacle of the sport and matching Tyson Fury for the undisputed belts.
And their relationship continues to blossom, sharing the spotlight of being two of the top athletes in world sport with the potential of crossing paths again in the future.