WORLD Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua spoke movingly about the death of a friend from suicide as part of a star-studded fundraiser in aid of mental health charity Dorset Mind.

The boxer who, at 27, has won gold at the 2012 Olympics and is the reigning and defending IBF, IBO and WBA heavyweight champion of the world, described how he tries to maintain a balance with his own mental health and how his rigorous training schedule keeps him focussed.

He was appearing at The Lighthouse in Poole, hosting 'Life Experiences With' at the invitation of Ty Temel who has committed himself to raising awareness of mental health, and money to help mental health charities, after the suicide of a friend last year.

“Anthony Joshua was absolutely brilliant – he answered everyone’s questions and spent ages with the people who had paid for a meet and greet,” said Ty.

Earlier this year Joshua had joined Prince Harry – who also campaigns on mental health issues – on a broadcast on Radio 4 and jokingly offered to be his best man at Saturday's Royal Wedding. “When we originally spoke to him they said he was going to the royal wedding initially but I’m not sure if he did go!” said Ty.

He praised the boxer’s openness and while he had discussed highlights such as his fight against Vladimir Klitschko, he said the boxer’s main message had been one of helping others. “When he was asked what he wanted to be remembered for, he said not necessarily the boxing – 'I want to be remembered as someone who helped the community and other people',” said Ty.

Joshua told the Echo: "Its all about bringing respect not only to boxing but to sportsmen in Britain. You don’t forget where you’ve come from, no matter how far I take my boxing it’s important to me that I always connect with the people, that I never get too big for my boots, that's, in my opinion, what I want to be remembered for."

The final figures have yet to be calculated – the event included an auction of memorabilia - but, says Ty, it has raised ‘thousands’ for Dorset Mind. He also hopes it raises awareness for young people who may not know there are places they can turn when mental distress or illness strikes.

Dorset Mind said: “It was a fantastic evening and we are extremely grateful for the generosity of everyone involved.”