By Nick Parkinson. Last Updated: 20/07/12 1:34pm
Anthony Joshua: big things are expected of the Londoner
Team GB super-heavyweight hopeful Anthony Joshua is contemplating turning down money-spinning offers from promoters to stay amateur after the Olympics.
The Londoner is strongly fancied to win gold in his home city at this summer's Games and reportedly snubbed a £50,000 offer to enter the punch-for-pay ranks two years ago.
Joshua, 22, is considered one of the best amateur super-heavyweights in the world after he reached last year's amateur World Championships final, only to be out-pointed by the local hero in Azerbaijan. It has been an incredibly fast progression for Joshua, who first walked into a boxing gym less than four years ago and is now on the wanted list for British and American promoters.
If Joshua strikes gold at the ExCeL Arena in Docklands in the super-heavyweight final, he can expect professional promoters fighting over his signature with offers expected to be over £1million.
But the likeable 6ft 6in boxer, who weighs over 14 stones, claims he is prepared to wait before entering the professional ranks.
"I really want to become an Olympic champion and amateur world champion," he told Punchlines. "There's no rush to turn pro because I've been watching Guillermo Rigondeaux, the Cuban who won two Olympic gold medals and is now a world champion but didn't turn professional until he was 28.
"The pro career is always there but once you leave amateurs there's no turning back. There's no rush to turn pro. I want to get the most out of my amateur career before turning professional."
Joshua learnt to box at the same Finchley gym where heavyweight Dereck Chisora trains and has also sparred with the former world title challenger.
And AJ expects Chisora to take bitter rival Haye the distance in their controversial heavyweight showdown at Upton Park on July 14.
"I've had a few rounds with Dereck Chisora," he told Punchlines. "I've been down the gym to see him preparing for Haye. He's tough and he's going to give Haye a lot problems.
"I think it might go the distance they are both tough guys and they are not going to want to stay on the canvas.
"He just needs to keep on learning like me, and like any great fighter you don't stop learning until you retire."
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
A week into the Games of the XXX Olympiad, Richard Moore brings us his half-way highs and lows
Linford Christie sprinted to 100m gold for Britain at an Olympic Games best remembered for America's basketball dream team.