Dognappers returned a stolen pooch after they learned the owner was a boxer.

Hosea Stewart, who has sparred with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, revealed he once had his pet Rico nabbed from a supermarket car park.

But days later, the Staffordshire bull terrier cross French mastiff was returned after the crooks ­realised the 24-year-old was a promising amateur fighter.

Hosea said: "The thieves must have realised they had come across the wrong guy."

He went on: "I popped into the shops to buy a drink as it was a boiling hot day and left the window down an inch or two.

Hosea Stewart will soon launch his pro career after signing for Wasserman in June
Hosea Stewart will soon launch his pro career after signing for Wasserman in June

"We were only gone for a couple of minutes and when we got back Rico was gone.

"Someone must have got their hand through the gap in the car window and opened the door. They must’ve been small to get their hand through."

The dad of two, from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, spread the word that he was looking for his beloved pet following the theft in 2019.

Hosea spread the word that he was looking for Rico and got him back soon after
Hosea spread the word that he was looking for Rico and got him back soon after
Hosea has previously spent time in AJ’s camp to help prepare him for fights
Hosea has previously spent time in AJ’s camp to help prepare him for fights

To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.

He added: "It speeded up the process once they found out who owned Rico."

Hosea will soon launch his pro career after signing for Wasserman in June.

He has previously spent time in AJ’s camp to help prepare him for fights.

The British star, 31, defends his belts against Oleksandr Usyk, 34, at Tottenham’s football stadium on Saturday night.