Anthony Joshua says his strict training regime was inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo, who 'has the body of a 21-year-old'

Alex Livesey / Getty Images / Emilio Andreoli / Getty ImagesAnthony Joshua (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo (R).
  • Anthony Joshua might channel soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo in his heavyweight bout against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday.
  • The boxer visited Under Armour’s research centre to find out how Ronaldo, who is 33 years old, stays in such incredible shape.
  • Joshua said he’s changed his training regime after looking at the routines of other boxing greats like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
  • He now wakes up naturally instead of rising early for a morning run.

Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably one of the most influential players in world football – but it’s not only soccer stars who look up to him.

Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has revealed that he finds inspiration in the Juventus forward, who is in extraordinary shape.

In the lead-up to his fight with Alexander Povetkin on Saturday, Joshua said he visited Under Armour research laboratories to analyse his fitness and find out how he could improve his regime.

“I could go in there and knock out Povetkin in a round or two but then there is the eight weeks of intense sparring, doing 200 rounds, you have to protect your body,” the fighter said,according to The Telegraph.

Talking about his motivation to get better, he said: “Cristiano Ronaldo did a body test. He is 33 but has the body of a 21-year-old. You have to preserve your body.”

Joshua also said he was inspired by other boxing greats like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Manny PacquiaoEthan Miller/Getty ImagesManny Pacquiao.

It was apparently these fighters that convinced him to ditch the early morning runs and wake up naturally instead.

“When I watched a Manny Pacquiao documentary he does the same thing… I saw 10.34 a.m. on a clock when he was waking up and I was like: ‘What? I’m here getting up at the crack of dawn?'”

Joshua added: “It looks lazy but you’re still getting the same amount of work done and in a better way.”

The Telegraph also reported that boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said Joshua is constantly looking for ways to improve.

“When he went to Under Armour for a body analysis, it blew his mind. For a British fighter, Anthony is by far the most advanced in terms of training facilities or what he does… He is obsessed with improvements.

“He has brought all these people into camp. The only thing that is on his mind is performance and improving. Not cars, not women, not jewellery, just improving. He won’t do anything that affects his ability to prepare.”

Joshua’s strict training regime has been taking its toll on his body, the fighter admitted.

“It has been tough, I am not going to lie,” Joshua said. “My body is in pain. I’ve done 15 rounds, 13 rounds, 12 rounds, back to back but one thing I do know is I have got a deep well, a lot of fire.

“I have got enough heart to slug it out with Povetkin, same with Wladimir Klitschko. Even though some people may be more skilled, have longer arms or be taller, sometimes it is about what is in your heart. And I know I have got that for sure.”

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