BOXING hero Anthony Joshua says the gloves are off in his battle against racism.
The world heavyweight champ, 30, thinks the wave of Black Lives Matters protests are only the first step — and he now wants to make real strides at local level.
⚠️ Watch our YouTube live stream of the Black Lives Matter protests
He joined Saturday’s protest in his home town of Watford — and plans to create a new community centre near where he lives with son JJ, four.
He told The Sun: “If you want to be the change, the change has to come from within.
“I appreciate the people who protest but once the awareness is raised, we need to create economic change.
“We need to look at education — readers become leaders.”
Joshua wants to buy a building to create a hub for learning which will allow kids from different backgrounds to get to know each other.
If you want to be the change, the change has to come from within.
He added: “I am focused on the local community.
“We want to create a centre to help people get educated, for them to gather together and bring some unity.
“I want to give kids a place to go and learn, so if they get into a confrontation with someone who is not from the same country or culture as them, they are not ignorant and they won’t judge them for what they look like.”
Joshua has already had talks with the local council along with community groups.
A source said: “AJ has been doing lots of things in the local community but the recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations have brought that all to the forefront.”
Watford’s Tory MP Dean Russell also gave his “whole-hearted support” to the plan.
He added: “Hopefully it can be a beacon for other centres across the UK.”
Joshua’s plans were revealed after an impassioned speech at Saturday’s anti-racism rally.
Using pal Reece Campbell’s words, he said protesters were the vaccine to the virus of racism.
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