Anthony Joshua has revealed his pride after a stunning 40-foot mural was unveiled on Tottenham High Road ahead of his bout against Oleksandr Usyk.
The 31-year-old is set to defend his collection of titles against the former undisputed cruiserweight champion and now heavyweight contender on Saturday evening at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Joshua, fighting in front of a packed stadium in London for the first time since stopping Alexander Povetkin at Wembley in 2018, will headline the first boxing event at Tottenham’s state-of-the-art arena.
Ahead of the eagerly-anticipated heavyweight clash, artist Akse P19 – who has a growing reputation following his poignant depictions of Marcus Rashford, Captain Sir Thomas Moore, George Floyd, Kalvin Phillips, Ian Curtis and others – has created another stunning spectacle.
Joshua’s mantra of ‘stay hungry, stay humble’ is displayed alongside a picture encapsulating the night he avenged his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr, regaining his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts in a memorable evening in Saudi Arabia back in 2019.
Anthony Joshua’s ‘stay hungry, stay humble’ mantra was displayed on the stunning mural
Joshua revealed he was honoured after viewing the finished mural for the first time
Joshua is seen getting a glimpse of the mural for the first time on a laptop as he prepares for Saturday night’s match-up.
The heavyweight, who was clearly highly impressed by the finished product, spoke of his honour after joining an illustrious group.
‘I’ve seen what Akse has done with Captain Tom, George Floyd and Rashford, as well as Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips and Ian Curtis,’ Joshua said.
‘So, to be amongst these great people is an honour and I’m happy that he chose me to be a part of this great history that he’s creating.’
He continued: ‘I’m not saying that I’m an icon, but the fact that he’s painting people that are doing big things makes me feel humbled and honoured.
‘The fight in this painting is also taken from when I became two-time heavyweight champion of the world, so I feel like it has a pivotal history.’
Joshua and Usyk got one final look at each other ahead of the bout at Friday’s weigh in
Joshua is pursuing an historic all-British undisputed showdown against Tyson Fury, who is set to defend his WBC belt against Deontay Wilder on October 9.
The pair have a long-standing history and were on the precipice of a mega-fight this summer, with promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren indicating the bout will be made should the pair overcome their upcoming hurdles.
It would be a landmark moment in British sport, another to add to the collection for Joshua, who has already been awarded an OBE in 2018 to add to the MBE he received following his gold medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012.
Artist Akse P19 made a stunning mural of Marcus Rashford in Manchester following his incredible charity work to help feed poverty-stricken children
Akse designed and painted the image of the Manchester United star on a jet black background
Hundreds of tributes to Marcus Rashford were left after the mural was defaced – which were then removed to be preserved at a library and on a virtual ‘Wall of Hope’
Joshua’s impressive mural, commissioned by JD Sport, of whom the heavyweight is an ambassador, is the latest piece of work in Akse P19’s ever-growing collection.
The artist commemorated Rashford’s charity work, in which he worked tirelessly to ensure that poverty-stricken children are fed during school holidays, with an equally eye-catching mural in Manchester.
The mural was subsequently defaced following England’s Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy this summer, with the Manchester United star subjected to racist abuse on social media alongside team-mates Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.
Hundreds of tributes were subsequently placed on the mural, which were then removed and preserved at a library and on a virtual ‘Wall of Hope’.
Akse P19’s work also includes a mural of Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips, pictured alongside club legends Albert Johanneson and Lucas Radebe to honour the club’s diverse history, in addition to depictions of Captain Tom Moore and George Floyd, both in Manchester.
Akse P19 also created a mural of Kalvin Phillips, which Leeds United unveiled last year to honour the club’s diverse racial history
Akse spray painted a mural of George Floyd in Manchester after he was killed in in 2020