Although it’s hard to believe now, the former unified heavyweight champion was once your regular skinny kid.
Snaps of a 12-year-old AJ during his time at a Nigerian boarding school show just how skinny he was before he began his sporting journey.
After years of athletics training, Joshua eventually took up boxing in 2007 thanks to his cousin and fellow pro Ben Ileyemi.
And the rigorous strength and condition training he supplemented his boxing with had a profound effect on his physique.
Joshua looked unrecognisable from the bean pole kid that spent time at the Mayflower Boarding School in Ikenne when he made his pro debut aged 18.
In an interview with Vogue, he said of his time at boarding school: “I spent about nine months in a boarding school.
“Really tough. No nonsense. Education is, ‘I want you to be a doctor or a lawyer.’ There’s no YouTube, no boxing.
“None of that, it’s either doctor or lawyer, simple. So education is important in Nigerian schools and especially in a boarding school.”
He later added: “Discipline; so tomorrow through your mistake, you’re not going to make the same mistake again, so that’s why I believe mistakes are good.”
His transformations have continued throughout his much-talked-about career.
AJ weighed a career-heavy 18 stone for his October 2017 victory over Carlos Takam but trimmed considerably two years later for his do-or-die rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr, tipping the scales at 16 stone and 13lbs.
He did, however, put some size back on for his ill-fated defence against Oleksandr Usyk last September, weighing in at smidgen over 17 stone.
The Watford warrior is currently preparing for a crunch rematch with the Ukrainian southpaw, who put on a masterclass in their Tottenham tussle.
The bout was initially slated for late March but is now in the works for April.
Promoter Eddie Hearn recently said: “I think April is realistic for that fight.
“Before you know it, it’s going to be February and these fights take a lot of organising.
For us, the preferred date and venue for that fight will be the UK, in which case we would have to do the fight outside, so we’re not really interested in doing that fight in March.
“AJ has been training relatively solidly since the fight.
“Realistically if you start your training camp in February, even April becomes quite tight but that is the preferred date for the fight and I think that’s realistic.”
Author: Andrew Collins