Joshua was stopped by police with drugs because he was 'big and black'

Anthony Joshua claims he was stopped with drugs by police in 2011 because he was ‘big and black’ before being found with eight ounces of cannabis… as tells Louis Theroux he had the ‘wrong complexion and wrong connection’

  • Heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua has opened up on his troubled upbringing 
  • Joshua was stopped by police officers with eight ounces of cannabis in 2011  
  • Anthony Joshua is the Emma Raducanu of boxing: Listen to why on The Hook 

Anthony Joshua believes he was stopped by police with drugs in 2011 because he was ‘big and black’ – as he claimed he had the ‘wrong complexion and the wrong connection’ during his interview with Louis Theroux.

Joshua had a troubled upbringing before his rise to becoming a world boxing champion and was made to wear an electronic tag during his amateur career having been charged with possession with intent to supply a class B drug. 

The heavyweight boxer opened up on his troubles in his early life during his revealing interview with Theroux on the BBC.

Joshua said he had been wearing a Team GB tracksuit when he was stopped by police in north London with eight ounces of cannabis more than a decade ago.

‘It wasn’t meant for me to be a champion,’ he said. ‘I was in Reading jail in 2009. In 2011 I was stopped while I was in the Olympics team. I started smoking more as time went on. 

Anthony Joshua has blamed being stopped by police with drugs in 2011 on being ‘big and black’

He opened up to Louis Theroux about how he was nearly kicked off the Olympics team

‘[The eight ounces] looks like a whole heap of cash.  When you’re big and black you could be doing 20mph and its “You’re speeding”. It is what it is. Wrong complexion and wrong connection. It’s part of the game.’

When asked what he told the officers, he replied: ‘I said, “I represent you. Come on, me?”‘ 

He added that his position on the Olympics team was in huge danger before his trainer and mentor Rob McCracken pleaded for him to be reinstated. 

‘The Olympic committee, I really honour them. I got kicked off the committtee at the time because of the case. I started smoking again. 

‘Sean [Murphy] from my gym called my mum and said get your son back in the gym, he’s got talent. About six months later [trainer] Rob McCracken backed me and said, “let him back in the gym, he’ll sort his life out. Trust me.’ 

One year after his run-in with police, Joshua won a gold medal for Team GB at 2012 Olympics

Joshua brushed aside his troubles with the law to become a two-time heavyweight champion

Just a year after his run-in with the police, Joshua began to turn his life around as he won a silver medal at the 2011 World Championships in Baku before winning a gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics.

That achievement significantly boosted his profile and led to him becoming a professional boxer in 2013. 

Just 16 fights later he would become a world champion after defeating Charles Martin to claim the IBF belt in 2016 – before becoming a superstar and the unified heavyweight champion following memorable wins over Wladimir Klitschko and Joseph Parker.

Cracks have started to show in the career of Joshua, however, after a shocking KO loss to unfancied Mexican fighter Andy Ruiz in 2019 – which he avenged later that year – before crushing back-to-back losses against Oleksandr Usyk. 

During the documentary, Joshua also opened up about his personal life – revealing why he still lives with his mum aged 34 – and that any girlfriend he has in the future will have to ‘marry his family’.

Joshua also revealed why he still lives with his mother Yeta Odusanya at the age of 34

‘I still live with my mum,’ the two-time world champion told the BBC. ‘In our culture, we grew up in our own family home, we support our parents. 

‘Why am I going to move out and leave my mum by herself, for some girl? Family is the most important thing. 

‘When a girl gets with me, she ain’t just marrying me, she’s marrying my family.’

The grounded boxing star, who is not publicly in a relationship, admitted that he likes to keep his personal life private as he cannot live up to the expectations people have of him.

He continued: ‘Are we going to dissect everything I say and use it as a narrative to create a story? That’s why I keep myself to myself.

‘You put all this pressure on yourself to come and be this big star and be perfect.

‘I’m telling you, they’ll pull you down. The higher you are, the bigger the drop.’

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