WATCH: Anthony Joshua hails 'amazing' Conor McGregor as he suggests he wants to try his luck in UFC
World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has declared he is a huge admirer of Conor McGregor and hinted he would like to get into a MMA cage at some point in his career.
Speaking exclusively to Independent.ie in London, Joshua suggested the criticism that McGregor attracts needs to be put into some context alongside his sporting achievements as he hailed his rise to the top as 'amazing'.
"Let’s not forget where he has come from," Joshua told us at a Lucozade Fitwater event.
"We are looking at what he has achieved at the peak of his career and he has done so well to navigate himself from ground zero to the top of a combat sport. It’s an amazing story. He has some sort of intelligence, determination and hunger.
"There is something in him that meant he refused to be beaten. He seems to be the kind of guy who doesn’t take no for an answer and keeps on pushing and you have to respect someone for that. He has done really well for himself and his family and that is all you want to do in life."
Plenty of boxers have swapped life in the ring and stepped into the MMA world in recent years and it seems that Joshua may be open to following that path as he eyes up an appearance in the cage.
"I respect the guys in UFC and I would fight in that sport," he told us. "Ultimately, a fight is a fight.
"I’m not saying how good I would do, but a challenge is a challenge and a fight is a fight. One of the issues with boxing is a lot of the heavyweights that might have been in boxing now have made a path for themselves in UFC and that may be why the pool of heavyweights in boxing is a little bit smaller."
Anthony Joshua is one of the official ambassadors for Lucozade Sport Fitwater, a new functional water packed full of electrolytes, which is specifically made for sports hydration.