Fans of Anthony Joshua have sprung to his defence after trolls launched a “sickening” anti-Muslim attack on the boxing world champion for uploading a picture of him praying in a mosque.
The IBF heavyweight champion on Tuesday shared a picture on Twitter of him kneeling in pray in Dubai behind two copies of the Quran.
The image prompted a vitriol of abuse, some seemingly coming from boxing fans who said they would no longer follow the 27-year-old because of his faith. One commenter even told the British fighter to “get out of my country.”
Joshua, who has previously said that he does not follow any religion, but has an interest in them, captioned his picture: “Besides luck, hard work & talent.. Prayer is a solid foundation. It was nice to join my brother as he led through afternoon prayer.”
The tide of abuse, However, soon turned with people pledging their support for Joshua - who is due to fight Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in April - and venting their abhorrence at the anti-Muslim sentiment being expressed.
Earlier, a man identifying as Terry Johnson called on the Prime Minister Theresa May to deport Joshua for posting the picture. He tweeted: “Get out of my country.”
Mark Warren also tweeted his disgust at the notion Joshua was a Muslim, declaring he was no longer a supporter.
Lee Wooley and Matt C both said they would be supporting Klitchko, while a man calling himself Right Wing Roy said he would not watch Joshua fight again.
Naz Rashid delivered a knock-out blow to trolls, comparing Joshua to boxing great Mohammed Ali. He wrote: “To all the people hating.
“Muhammad Ali was a Muslim and the greatest of all time, do you guys hate him as well?”