Boxer Anthony Joshua has been rendered in massive mural form on the side of a building in north London, just before he takes to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tomorrow night (Saturday September 25) to fight Ukranian heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk.
The 40-foot-tall painting is by Manchester-based street artist Akse P19, who was also behind the recent mural of footballer Marcus Rashford in Withington, Manchester, as well as similar large-scale paintings of George Floyd and Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis. Speaking about the mural, Joshua commented: '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. 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 added: ‘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.'
The painting was commissioned by JD Sports for whom Joshua is an ambassador. This Saturday’s fight will see Watford-born Joshua will defending his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against the former undisputed world cruiserweight champion Usyk. It will be the first ever boxing match held at the new-ish Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which opened in 2019 to replace the long-standing White Hart Lane stadium.