ANTHONY JOSHUA has dismissed Saudi Arabia's shocking human rights record towards gays and told fans: If you're not allowed to come to the country, just stay at home and watch me on TV.
Joshua will face Andy Ruiz Jr in December desperate to reclaim his world heavyweight titles – but the decision to stage the fight in a country where homosexuality is illegal.
The 29-year-old has tried to steer clear of questions about whether it is right to be taking the millions on offer to compete in a country with such strict laws.
But asked by the BBC about the fact homosexuals can receive the death penalty, Joshua let his guard down for the first time.
He said: "There are certain polices that are in place in the country and there are certain policies we just have to abide by, and I abide by the law and that’s just how it goes in certain places.
“If you cant come to the country, you can still watch it, you’re still open to support and I appreciate your support from every community."
Joshua added: “I feel like in this situation I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t, a certain thing I can’t win for.
"I feel like I stand in the middle and I feel like boxing is just trying to open up the barriers for people to travel and see.”
“I feel like so many communities have been through a lot of stuff, even my own community, we’re still going through stuff.
“If I’m going to fight for one cause, I’m going to fight for every cause and right now the cause I’m fighting for is getting my belts back.
“I do want to put on that cape and be like the spokesman but I’ve got some big tasks ahead of me at the minute.
“I feel I’m still young, I’ve still got time – there will be a time where I maybe more involved in certain aspects where we stand up and try and make change.
“I look at what I’ve seen, the hospitality and stuff and how they treat us in terms of the event they’re going to put on.
"I know you’re going to be able to come, because this has been mentioned and hence why I feel like these were small ticking boxes to actually agreeing the fight there.
“So I know you’re going to be able to come."
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