Max Joseph played for the Premier League club’s academy for two seasons – finishing as top-scorer for their under-16 team after scoring 42 goals in one campaign.
But he was released by the club two years ago following a recurring ankle injury and was encouraged to take to the ring by his father, Stephen — a former trainer of world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in his amateur days.
Fighting at middleweight, Joseph, who is 17 and trains in Finchley, has won nine out of his 14 bouts and was recently crowned ABA champion at Kingford in Chigwell.
Reflecting on his title fight, Joseph said: “I’ve been boxing on and off for seven years but now I’m giving it my full focus. Boxing is much tougher than football as you can’t cheat – you can’t skip training days and must give 100 per cent each session.
“Speed and power are my biggest assets and I’ve got my eye on competing at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.”