The Special One was in attendance to see the Brit claim the IBF crown from his American opponent at The O2
Mourinho surprised Joshua when he arrived unannounced at The O2 to see him KO American Charles Martin inside two rounds.
The Portuguese then waited patiently in the queue of well wishers outside Joshua’s dressing room to congratulate him on becoming the new IBF heavyweight king.
“Jose was watching the build-up and then decided, all of a sudden, he wanted a ticket last-minute,” said Joshua. “They managed to get him a seat and I met him afterwards.
“I’ve met him before and he remembered me. We had a good five-minute chat. I respect him. We were in the changing room and he’s a cool guy. He just congratulated me. There were some good faces there. I saw Jess Ennis, too.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn was shocked when he saw Mourinho and says his presence shows how big Joshua is becoming.
“We didn’t even know he was coming,” said the Matchroom Sport MD. “He just rocked up at half-six at the Arena and started texting people to get in.
“He then queued up at the changing room to meet him. AJ is a massive star. He is the new figurehead of British boxing.”
Joshua’s rise in his two and a half years as a pro has been meteoric and no one has boxed fewer than his 34 rounds to become world heavyweight champion.
Anthony Joshua thanks fans after being crowned IBF heavyweight champion
Even Joshua, 26, was impressed by this stat as he relaxed in his fight hotel in Canary Wharf yesterday.
“Yeah, that is quick,” he said. “That’s crazy. Dillian Whyte was the only fight which went seven rounds. Everything else has been one to three.”