ANTHONY JOSHUA reckons he was never properly respected as a heavyweight KO king due to Britain’s love for tea and biscuits and the queen.
The 2012 Olympic champion raced to the IBF world title inside just three years and 16 pro fights and enjoyed an iconic Wembley win over the legend Wladimir Klitschkso in 2017.
But, when the WBA, IBF and WBO boss failed to secure an undisputed fight with Alabama’s then-WBC champ Deontay Wilder, US fans were not convinced by the Watford hunk.
And when Joshua’s America debut in 2019 against Andy Ruiz Jr ended in defeat, it rocked his career and Stateside reputation.
But AJ, 32, reckons he was always missing out on recognition across the Pond as Brits are more famous for cuppas and crowns than ferocious fighting.
Ahead of his August 20 Oleksandr Usyk rematch, Joshua said: “I feel like I never got that respect.
“When I came into this division it was whack and I thought ‘let me get in this game and take on anyone and everyone, it doesn’t matter who’.
“Maybe it was because I was British that nobody was respecting my thing.
“I wanted to bring the heavyweight division to Great Britain and show that we are solid.
“Because I think that sometimes people just think we drink tea and eat biscuits and sit with the Queen.
“I used to have people say things like ‘yo AJ, dawg, what’s the Queen like?’
“I felt I was not getting looked upon as someone who was a dominant force in the heavyweight division.
“People seemed to just think I was Anthony Joshua who liked looking in the mirror and had an ego”.
Usyk, another London 2012 golden boy, returned to our capital in September to grab all three of AJ’s hard-earned belts in a convincing unanimous decision.
Tickets have only just gone on sale for the Jeddah rerun, with Sky Sports still bizarrely not yet celebrating the fact they won the bidding war for the UK broadcasting rights.
And Joshua insists reclaiming his three titles in secondary to reminding the world of his ability and strength after his two professional defeats let people dismiss his previous achievements.
Speaking to JD Sports, he added: “When big Anthony Joshua wins and becomes three-time heavyweight world champion, I am going to dash the belts, because you have to learn to respect ME as a person.
“I don’t want to be respected because of the belts that I hold.
“I want to be respected for the man you see.”