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Joshua unfazed by religious abuse

2017-01-25 21:48
Anthony Joshua (Getty Images)

London - IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua insists vile abuse sparked by a photo of him praying in a mosque won't deter him from following his religious beliefs.

Joshua was barraged with sick taunts after posting a picture on social media of him in a Dubai mosque recently.

The 27-year-old Briton, who is due to fight Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley on April 29, was pictured in the holy building participating in the afternoon prayer Asr, recited by practising Muslims.

Olympic gold medallist Joshua, not a Muslim himself, wrote: "Besides luck, hard work & talent.. Prayer is a solid foundation. It was nice to join my brother as he led through afternoon prayer (asr)."

Born to Nigerian parents, Joshua has looked into other religions in the past and he is adamant he won't be fazed by the internet abuse.

"You always have to go with what your spirit tells you not what people advise you. I'm a man that will always follow my own path," he told ITV News London on Wednesday.

"One of my best friends is a Muslim guy and we were in Dubai, which is (in) an Islamic country.

"We were on a tour of Dubai and we went to the mosque and it was afternoon prayer so I asked him to pray for me ahead of the Klitschko fight, for good will.

"He asked me to join in and I joined in and someone took a picture and I took it from Instagram and posted it. Out of good faith."

Appearing to reference boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who joined the Nation of Islam in 1964, Joshua added: "One of my idols in the boxing industry is Muslim. I didn't think it would have the backlash.

"Religion is supposed to be a positive thing. When you look at the true religions around the world, not the fundamentalists.

"I posted in that respect and it's a shame it had that backlash but I can't control how people think. As long as my intentions are pure, that's what counts."

Read more on:    anthony joshua
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