Boxer Anthony Joshua Recalls Thinking JAY-Z Wanted To Punch Him

Boxer Anthony Joshua reflects on the time he impulsively grabbed JAY-Z’s wrist to secure a picture with the legendary lyricist.

BYMitch Findlay
Boxer Anthony Joshua Recalls Thinking JAY-Z Wanted To Punch Him

Two-time heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua is days away from fighting Oleksandr Usyk, with the bout set to go down on Saturday, September 25th. Ahead of the fight, Joshua spoke with William Hill and revealed an interesting story about the first time he met JAY-Z.

As revealed in a report by HipHopDX, Joshua first met JAY at a Will Smith film premiere back in 2013, the same year that Hov delivered his Magna Carta Holy Grail album. He explains that he grew up listening to JAY's music, citing songs like "A Week Ago," "Streets Is Watching," "Hard Knock Life," and "Dead Presidents." 

Boxer Anthony Joshua Recalls Thinking JAY-Z Wanted To Punch Him
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

"You know those lovely houses that are like mansion houses and they’ve got a stairway in the middle and they depart around left and right and they come back?" begins Joshua, setting a scene. "Pure opulence. I was at this big premiere and it was one of those big staircases and I was in the top left."

“And I saw JAY-Z walk in," he continues. "In my head, I was like, ‘Yo, there’s JAY-Z.’ Know what I mean? Ready to jump down the balcony. But I thought, ‘Play it cool.’ So I thought, ‘What way is he gonna come up these stairs? Because if I stand on the left and he goes on the right, there are too many people. It’s a premiere. Thank God I stood at the right side."

Boxer Anthony Joshua Recalls Thinking JAY-Z Wanted To Punch Him
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images 

As JAY walked up the stares, Joshua reveals that he actually grabbed the rap legend's wrist. " ‘Jay, do you mind if I get a picture?’" he recalls saying. "And he kind of looked at my hand, like: ‘Boy, I will bust your head if you don’t get off my hand.’ But it was just one of those things where I just gave the guy the camera. And in that picture, I think it’s one of the first pictures on my Instagram, JAY-Z has just got a plain face. And there’s me with a big smile."

The picture actually remains on Anthony Joshua's Instagram, dating back to October 11th, 2013. While it's admittedly amusing to imagine one of hip-hop's most revered lyricist actively swinging on a boxing champion, one must never forget JAY's origin story. Josha certainly didn't. "He’s a hustler, isn’t he?" he reflects. "He came from the bottom. But he also transferred his music ability into becoming one of the most successful businessmen in the music industry.”

Look for Anthony Joshua to fight Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday, September 25th. 


  • Link Copied to Clipboard!
About The Author
<b>Feature Editor</b> <!--BR--> Mitch Findlay is a writer and hip-hop journalist based in Montreal. Resident old head by default. Enjoys writing Original Content about music, albums, lyrics, and rap history. His favorite memories include interviewing J.I.D and EarthGang at the "Revenge Of The Dreamers 3" studio sessions in Atlanta and receiving a phone call from Dr. Dre. In his spare time he makes horror movies.