Anthony Joshua had Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his dressing room before Saturday’s victory over Carlos Takam at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
A proven winner, Ibrahimovic even had some advice for the British heavyweight, who defended his WBA (Super) and IBF belts against Takam.
"Zlatan loves his boxing and his mindset is phenomenal but he picked me up on something I said after my fight with Wladimir Klitschko earlier in the year," Joshua said, per Sky Sports.
"He pointed out that I'd said 'I'm not perfect, but I'm trying'. Then he said 'No, no no. What you must is say is 'I am perfect and I'm not trying!'"
Typical Zlatan. If Joshua was able to combine his talent with the Swede’s knack for an excellent quote, it wouldn’t be long before he became a worldwide hit.
It wasn’t the first time Joshua has been in contact with a member of Manchester United.
The 2012 Olympic champion celebrated his win over Charles Martin last year with Jose Mourinho, and he even trained with the Man United squad in May of this year.
Joshua, who claims not to support a football team, was presented with his own ‘Joshua 1’ shirt by Mourinho and was also snapped with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.
Mourinho reacts after watching Joshua in action
Footage of Joshua in action has now emerged and it’s safe to say Mourinho was impressed.
The Portuguese coach produced a brilliant reaction after watching Joshua kick a football - jokingly telling Chris Smalling to prepare to leave the club.
“F***ing hell Tony!,” Mourinho says. “Smalling, goodbye man!”
“I’m going to promote you,” the Man United boss added.
Based on Joshua’s next effort, in which his trainer comes flying off, we think Smalling’s job is safe.
Ibrahimovic: 'Joshua is a knockout artist'
Ibrahimovic heaped praise on the heavyweight boxer after meeting him in Cardiff, calling the 2012 Olympic champion “the people’s champion”.
"He is not as good at boxing as I am at football... but he's getting there," Ibrahimovic said.
"He's a knockout artist and his personality is good because he is perfect and he is not trying.
"There are positive vibes all around him, he has good energy and expresses himself very well.
"That's why everyone loves him. It's why he's the people’s champion."
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