Press Centre

Bear’s Mission with Anthony Joshua

  • Episode: 

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Fri 27 Oct 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 43 2017 : Sat 21 Oct - Fri 27 Oct
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    New
  • Amended: 

    Thu 26 Oct 2017
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 17 October 2017.
 
Bear’s Mission with Anthony Joshua
 
Anthony Joshua’s epic fight with Wladimir Klitschko made him a global superstar. He defeated one of boxing’s greatest champions and became the unified world heavyweight champion. Not bad for a boy from Watford who first stepped into a boxing gym just 10 years ago. But does this city boy have what it takes outside of the ring and his comfort zone to survive two days in the wild with Bear Grylls?
 
In Bear’s Mission with Anthony Joshua they embark on a mission which requires AJ to use a whole different set of survival skills. He is stripped of the lifestyle he is used to at home in London and taken back to nature to reveal a side of himself that you’ve never seen before.
 
AJ ON HIS MISSION WITH BEAR GRYLLS: “THIS IS THE SCARIEST THING I’VE EVER DONE”
 
AJ ON HIS CAREER: “NOW I’VE UNIFIED THE HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION, NOW THE HARD WORK BEGINS… MY APPRENTICESHIP IS DONE. I’M GOING TO TAKE OVER.”
 
AJ ON HIS SON: “IT’S BEEN A BLESSING. BEFORE, IT WAS ALL ABOUT ME… I REALISED THERE IS SOMEONE WHO IS GOING TO BE HERE AFTER I’M GONE.”
 
Sporting icon and global superstar, Anthony Joshua, joins Bear Grylls on a mission he will never forget. 
 
On his venture with Bear, the self confessed “city boy” says, “I’m going to embrace it… I don’t know what I’m in for… I could end up running into a sheep or a sheep could attack me. I don’t know what’s going to happen. The sheep here look like they are from the ghetto!”
 
Set on a two day mission, AJ faces one of the UK’s most notorious climbing faces, Commando Ridge, where the Royal Marines have trained for decades.
 
“I’m the king of my domain and right now I’m out of my comfort zone,” AJ says, “I hate bugs, I don’t like heights really, I’m used to being in the comfort of my living room but I think let’s go for it, what’s the worst that could happen?”
 
The mission will strip AJ of the lifestyle he is used to, taking him back to nature and will reveal a side of the boxing star that we have never seen before.
 
On his motivation to take part in the mission, AJ says: “I wanted to come for an experience… Showing people that there is more than just their postcode. I don’t really want to climb this rock because it’s scary but I think it opens up another portal in my mind, to make me feel I can achieve, I can overcome fears… This is one of the hardest things I’ve done. It’s real.”
 
Climbing up the rock face, he admits: “This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”
 
AJ ON GROWING UP AND HIS FAMILY
 
Speaking to Bear about where his spirit comes from, AJ says: “Definitely my dad. They called him ‘Big Josh’ ‘Big guy’. He supported all the family. And even when it’s tough you just keep going, keep going.”
 
On who brought him up, he says his mum and dad did: “Mum [and] dad split up. Dad is in Nigeria now so in a sense, mum did a lot of the groundwork.”
 
On being in trouble when he was younger, he says: “I was arrested, I was on remand and then I got banned from Watford for 14 months, they said I’m not allowed to be in the area. I was so stuck in the mind set that I didn’t think it was wrong but now I look back, I think if there’s anything that I want to attach myself to, it’s to help change the mindset of kids that are going through tough times because it starts from here [he points to his head].”
 
The sportsman - who is used to eating 5000 calories a day when training - also ate the marrow from a rotten sheep’s leg and even ate a maggot.
 
“When I’m at home I might ask for maggot and chips and see how that sits with me!” he joked.
 
AJ spoke about family life and his 19 month old son: “Me and my mum got closer when my son was going to be born. I haven’t got the motherly instinct, I’m a working man, I’m busy, I’m focussed. I don’t want to change, I’m very regimented and I thought ‘Oh my God, it’s all going to change!’ But it’s been a blessing. Before it was all about me, I lived for myself but then when I had my son, I started realising there is someone who is going to be here after I’m gone and that’s what he taught me, build something that they will respect and appreciate when I’m not here anymore.”
 
AJ also spoke about his living situation, admitting he still lives at home with his mum.
 
He explained: “It’s two bedrooms, one bathroom but it’s nice. We’ve got a lick of white paint in there, some spotlights, we try to bring it to life.”
 
AJ ON BOXING
 
AJ explains how he got into boxing: “There was a community in the gym and it doesn’t matter your race, your religion, your body type, there was space for everyone. I ended up having my first fight at 19. I knocked him out and I thought it was easy. Then a few more of my family came to the next one, then friends and family came to the next one and I lost. So I stopped inviting people and I said, ‘This is a job, this is work.’”
 
Bear and AJ perform a face off and AJ shows Bear some moves: “And that is the art of the face off. It’s letting your opponent know that there is no fear, I look beyond the eyes, I’m looking into your soul. Defend, encounter, defend, encounter but don’t switch off.”
 
On what he thinks about when he is boxing, he says: “Dance. Move. That’s why I’ve changed my kit. I wear all white because it’s in honour of Muhammad Ali, he was one of the greatest dancers, he had finesse when he boxed.” 
 
And when asked if anything prepares a boxer for being hit in the head, he replies: “Nothing can.”
 
“Do you get used to it?” Bear quizzes.
 
“No, never,” he says, “I watch it back and when I watch I [recoil]. It’s serious business.”
 
On how he keeps calm in those moments, AJ admits: “That’s where speed is important because when you are trading, it’s the first man to land wins the fight… It’s about speed as well.”
 
AJ speaks to Bear about the knockout punch that made him the unified heavyweight champion of the world in his fight against Wladimir Klitschko: “He kept on throwing his right hand. He threw his jab, then his right hand. Then I’ve gone under it. I whipped it. I missed him. I wanted to catch him with a backhand, left hook.” 
 
AJ admits that the devastating uppercut that won the bout was just a spur of the moment reaction after his left hook completely missed Klitschko – and wasn’t a combination from his training: “That was just natural. The one I hadn’t really practiced changed the game.”
 
AJ also speaks about his career ambitions for the future: “I know people probably look at me where I grew up and think, ‘What has happened? How did he change?’ I got out of where I grew up, I moved to Golders’ Green with my mum and that’s just how the boxing started. The people in the boxing gym really gave me guidance and wisdom, it really helped me change my outlook on what I thought was respect, what I thought was wealth… You can’t merge things, either you are 100 percent or you’re not and I just chose [the] 100 percent route with boxing. Now I’ve unified the heavyweight division, now the hard work begins so if people think that it’s time to enjoy, they got it wrong. They’re going to see the real disciplined AJ now. We’re just getting started. I haven’t been boxing that long but it’s always been at a high level and now I’m here, I think that my apprenticeship is done. I’m going to take over.”