Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua’s team have come out fighting after the superstar was linked to the estranged wife of Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez.
Reports of a budding romance between Joshua and Rita Mahrez continue after the two were allegedly spotted out together twice in the past few weeks.
The two are said to have first hit it off after a chance meeting last December but the relationship fizzled after Joshua realised she was the Man City ace’s better half.
According to The Sun however, the two have been spotted a couple of times recently, first at The Hart Lounge shisha bar in Southgate, North London and then at a party at a mutual friend’s place.
“Rita’s mad keen on AJ. She thinks they can be a couple,’ a source told the outlet.
“She’s in touch with him via his circle of friends and loves going out with them, although she really only has eyes for AJ. She’s been telling people about him, although he has held her at arm’s length.”
According to another source, the boxer was still apprehensive about a potential relationship with Rita.
“AJ has been on nights out where Rita is there. He’s ultra-cautious about her. He fears she’s targeted him for publicity as she’s trying to launch a music career.”
When contacted for comment, the boxer’s representatives refuted reports of any kind of relationship between the two.
“Anthony doesn’t personally know Mrs Mahrez and has no wish to, now or in future. He’s disappointed that she or people around her have tried to use his name to generate publicity,” his spokesperson told The Sun.
Joshua is the second boxer that Rita has been linked to, with reports emerging earlier this year of the American boxer Deontay Wilder flirting with her at a club in Manchester.