BOXING | CORONAVIRUS
Coronavirus: Anthony Joshua reveals: "I've lost a close friend"
Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has been touched by the impact of coronavirus and urged his followers to stay safe.
Anthony Joshua has revealed he has lost a close friend to coronavirus.
The unified world heavyweight champion posted a video message of support and condolences to those suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday.
"To the people who are suffering with coronavirus, I wish you a speedy recovery because it is no joke," he said via his official Twitter account.
"To the ones who have lost loved ones, I want to say keep your head up. You've got my love, blessings to you and your family and condolences.
"I've lost no one immediate to me but I've lost close ones from my boxing gym, a close friend, friends of friends. It gets serious when it starts coming closer to home. I want to send you my condolences and my love."
Joshua thanks NHS workers
Joshua also expressed thanks to NHS workers and implored people to abide by social distancing and lockdown measures as stipulated by the UK government.
"I would love to be out there right now doing the most – on my dirt bikes, meeting up with my boys, sparring, going down the boxing gym," he said.
"But even a rebel like me is trying to follow some guidelines, trying to do the right thing.
"Really, it's just a message to say you've got my support. I'm with you through this. We're all doing the right thing."
Joshua is scheduled to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20, although the bout increasingly appears vulnerable to postponement.
On Monday, the British Boxing Board of Control suspended all boxing events in the UK until the end of May, meaning the slated Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin and Oleksandr Usyk v Dereck Chisora fights were among those to be shelved.