Anthony Joshua revealed he feared Jay-Z was going to punch him when he approached the rapper at a film premiere in the US.
Joshua is preparing to fight Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.
The Brit, whose WBA, WBA and IBF world titles will be on the line against the Ukrainian, has not fought since his win over Kubrat Pulev in December 2020.
Joshua, who is a self-confessed fan of the Brooklyn-born rapper, Jay-Z, felt he nearly came to blows when he tried to get a photo with Jay-Z – real name Shawn Carter.
“Jay-Z was cool,” Joshua told William Hill. “I was at a Will Smith premiere once, years ago. And as I said, Jay-Z, I listened to that a week ago.
“‘The Streets is Watching’, ‘Hard Knock Life’, I just love that stuff. ‘Dead Presidents’.
“So imagine – you know those lovely houses that are like mansion houses and they’ve got a stairway in the middle and they depart around left and right and they come back?
“Pure opulence. I was at this big premiere and it was one of those big staircases and I was in the top left. And I saw Jay-Z walk in.
“And in my head, I was like, ‘Yo, there’s Jay-Z.’ Know what I mean? Ready to jump down the balcony. But I thought, ‘Play it cool’.
“So I thought, what way is he going to come up these stairs. Because if I stand on the left and he goes on right, there’s too many people, it’s a premiere.”
Jay-Z went up the right staircase to the delight of Joshua, but the hip-hop icon was taken aback by the 31-year-old’s method of approaching him.
“Thank God I stood at the right side. As he come up, I was kind of like (grabs his wrist), ‘Jay, do you mind if I get a picture?” Joshua continues.
“And he kind of looked at my hand, yeah, like, ‘Boy, I will bust your head if you don’t get off my hand.’
“But it was just one of those things where I just gave the guy the camera.
“And in that picture, I think it’s one of the first pictures on my Instagram, Jay-Z has just got a plain face. And there’s me with a big smile.”