Anthony Joshua plans to start spending £15million Wladimir Klitschko earnings by paying off £120 launderette tab

Scott D'Arcy
The Independent

Anthony Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 people at Wembley on Saturday: Getty
Anthony Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 people at Wembley on Saturday: Getty

The owner of the launderette where heavyweight champion of the world Anthony Joshua has an open tab of around £120 has said the boxer has a "heart of gold".

Muqeem Bakhtari, known locally as Max, said "joker" Joshua was a still regular at his launderette, in Golders Green, north London, near the ex-council flat where the fighter still lives with his mum.

The 27-year-old's victory over two-time world champion Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 people at Wembley on Saturday has earned him £15 million but he has not forgotten his unpaid bill.

Asked at the post-fight press conference if he was "ready for those people outside the Launderette" after his biggest win to date, Joshua said: "I've got to pay my debt there, number one. I've got a bill like that big (gesturing with his thumb and forefinger on his left hand). Hopefully he'll swerve it.

"I'm a people's person, on the estate, there was loads of us anyway so it's pretty chilled. Everyone in the arena, I probably know 20,000 of these people. It's crazy, I'm a local boy. So it's no different, it's no problem. As long as I'm not late for training I don't mind the attention."

Mr Bakhtari said Joshua had been a regular since before winning his Olympic gold medal at London 2012 and his family often stopped by to pick up his laundry.

He said: "He is a joker - no his bill is nothing. He always jokes about it. It sometimes ranges from a fiver to a £100. He has no time so he sends in his family members. It's minimal.

"The tab is always open to him and his family members - they are lovely people."

Asked if the bill was a reported £120, he said: "Possibly, yes."

Mr Bakhtari added fame and fortune had not appeared to have changed the gentle 6ft 6ins giant.

Victory was the greatest of Joshua's young career (PA)
Victory was the greatest of Joshua's young career (PA)

"We have known him since before he was Olympic champion, about seven or eight years, and he is the nicest guy around town. Nothing has changed.

"For somebody to knock him out will be difficult because he's got a heart of gold. His stardom comes because of his humbleness. He is so humble I actually go out of my way to serve him and help him out."

According to Mr Bakhtari, who said they also measure up Joshua for his clothes and wash his training gear, Joshua used to grill him on how to be successful in business.

"I remember when he was young, him going 'what do I have to do to make money'. He used to come to me to ask me about business. The thing is then he was a bit quieter, now he's a bit louder. Everything that comes out of his mouth is words of respect."

Mr Bakhtari revealed Joshua is looking to buy a new home after his latest fight, saying: "He was looking into buying a property. Wherever he goes, he will hopefully still use us."


What to read next