Anthony Joshua was in Las Vegas to let his hair down when Floyd Mayweather offered to show him around his favorite sights and watering holes.
Sin City was set to play the stage at Joshua’s rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, so AJ decided to take a well-deserved vacation to check out the training facilities and local spots shortly after winning their Wembley epic.
When Mayweather got wind that the heavyweight champion was in town, he was happy to play host and even gave Joshua and a small circle of his employees access to his gym and an exclusive look at one of his sparring sessions.
Floyd Mayweather said he will soon be teaming up with Anthony Joshua ahead of the fight against Tyson Fury
Joshua (left) and Fury (right) finally struck a £ 200 million deal for two fights to unite the division
“It was vacation, but we were also looking for training bases,” Joshua’s camp manager David Ghansa tells Sportsmail.
While there, we got a message from Mayweather asking which hotel we were staying in. We told him and suddenly, maybe an hour later, he was in the underground parking garage with all his sizes and loads of Rolls Royces.
The hotel desk called our room and said Floyd is waiting for you in the parking lot. It was crazy. From then on he actually received us the rest of our time there.
‘We went to nightclubs with him and he even shut down his gym so we could see him sparring. He was preparing to fight Conor McGregor at the time and it was just an incredible experience. ‘
It was during that trip where Joshua and Mayweather established their friendship, which could now extend to working together in the ring.
Boxing legend Mayweather watched Joshua beat Kubrat Pulev in London last December
Joshua revealed that Mayweather had given him the advice of ringside to poke Pulev into the fight
Aiming to become a trainer, Mayweather flirted with the idea of a star-studded coalition with Joshua just days after the first of his two heavyweight blockbusters with Tyson Fury was confirmed.
‘I look forward to working with Anthony Joshua soon, we communicate all the time, we talk all the time. His fight with Fury is a very interesting fight, ” he said last week.
The cynics will say there is a reason Mayweather is the king to remain relevant, but sources have suggested that there have been at least some conversations about the boxing legend coming on board and playing a role in his camp in some capacity . However, legendary Rob McCracken will remain Joshua’s trainer no matter what, after leading him to the Olympic gold medal in London 2012 and then throughout his professional career.
But Mayweather knows a thing or two about how to deal with these legacy-defining battles and Joshua will be fully aware of the value he can bring as the Money Man has established himself as the greatest of his time with an unbeaten career record from 50-0. including wins over the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.
AJ is friends with Mayweather (second right) and first met him in May 2017
Mayweather first came out to meet Joshua when he was in Rio for the 2016 Olympics
The pair are also very close and have been friends for almost four years now. Mayweather first contacted AJ’s team in 2016 when they were both in Rio for the Olympics, but their schedules prevented them from meeting.
Their first meeting came the following year during a meet-and-greet with fans for that trip to Las Vegas.
Joshua and Mayweather hadn’t spent much time in each other’s company since Vegas, until the boxing legend took an impromptu trip to London last December to watch him successfully defend his world titles against Kubrat Pulev.
“On the day of the Pulev fight, I got a FaceTime call at 1am,” Ghansa says.
‘I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered it anyway. It was Floyd and he was like, “Where’s Anthony?” I was like, “It’s 1am and he’s fighting today!”
He had just landed and asked to come to the fight. He had had his Covid tests and all, so we managed to get him a ticket at the last minute. ‘
David Ghansa recalls that Mayweather arrived out of nowhere at the hotel where they were staying in Las Vegas with his friends and a fleet of Rolls Royces.
The pair became close after partying together at nightclubs in Las Vegas in the summer of 2017
Joshua described fighting for Mayweather as an ‘honor’ and revealed that he gave him ringside instructions.
“I could hear him shout, ‘Jab, jab champ,” Joshua said.
“It was an honor to have him there. He came to see me perform and I also pulled out one of his favorite moves, the pull counter.
If you watch boxing, you know this is one of Mayweather’s signature moves. I felt like I had to give him something to remember. ‘
That win over Pulev paved the way for him and Fury to negotiate their £ 200 million fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship. Four months later, the fight is finally set in stone.
Mayweather will likely be there again to cheer on his friend whenever and wherever that comes – and who knows, he might even be there.
Joshua visited Mayweather’s boxing gym several times during his stay in Vegas
Mayweather even gave Joshua and his team exclusive access to one of his sparring sessions as he prepared to fight Conor McGregor.
The 44-year-old will likely be there when Joshua puts his belt on the line against Fury later this year, but will it be like his friend or part of his team?