Anthony Joshua admits he almost “got up to no good” during coronavirus lockdown

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Anthony Joshua has opened up on his struggles during lockdown as the heavyweight world champion was forced to put his career on hold.

The Londoner has not fought since he outpointed Andy Ruiz Jr in their rematch last December.

He was due to take on mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev last month but the fight was delayed due to the coronavirus crisis.

It is unlikely to take place before the end of November, meaning Joshua will have been sidelined for almost 12 months.

And he admitted he did not find the lockdown easy as the country struggled to deal with the pandemic.

“It’s been difficult, I’ve been out of the ring for the longest time in my life,” he told Sky Sports.

“I’ve been struggling to a certain degree, I only got into boxing for personal reasons, I wanted to better myself and i needed something to focus on.

“It could have been an instrument, it could have been dancing, it could have been anything but boxing happened to be the sport I chose.

“Having that taken away from me, I could see myself going in a completely different direction where I was up to no good; what is it they say… the devil makes work for idle thumbs.

“Now I’ve realised certain things; I have to check myself, I don’t have many people around me so I have to question myself and pull myself back.”

Should Joshua beat Pulev in their rearranged world title fight, he will then set his sights on fellow champion Tyson Fury.

The rivals have agreed a two-fight deal in principle for 2021 but Fury must first overcome Deontay Wilder.

Their trilogy fight has also been delayed due to coronavirus but has been pencilled in for December 19.

But even if Fury beats his American rival for a second time, he may then have to defend his belt against Dillian Whyte before he can turn his attention to Joshua.

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