Javon Walton is still processing the emotions surrounding the death of his friend and Euphoria co-star Angus Cloud.

Walton, who starred as Ashtray on the hit HBO series, called Cloud “forever family” in the immediate aftermath of the news that the 25-year-old actor passed away unexpectedly on Monday. Through two seasons of Euphoria, Walton spent almost every scene alongside Cloud; both actors routinely received praise for their performances.

“It was all really, really hard for us,” Walton said on The MMA Hour. “We all had such a deep connection with him. He was just like the nicest guy ever. To see him go, that hurt, but I hope he’s in a better life right now, and I hope he’s OK.”

Walton started on Euphoria under similarly strange circumstances as Cloud, who was walking down a street in New York when a casting director approached him about an audition for an upcoming HBO series. Cloud ended up landing the part as Fezco, a drug dealer with a heart of gold, and he often worked with series star Zendaya as well as Maude Apatow during season two.

As for Walton, his journey to Euphoria began after he appeared on a talk show to promote his up-and-coming boxing career, which came with an impressive amateur record as a teenager. Much like Cloud, Walton hadn’t really considered acting as a profession, but before long, he was starring on one of the most critically acclaimed series in HBO history.

“The goal originally was just boxing,” Walton said. “I’ve been boxing for 13 years of my life. That’s what I love. That’s what I do. This acting stuff came from boxing actually.

“I was on The Steve Harvey Show for boxing, and the casting director called after the show and was wondering if I was interested in trying acting.”

Less than two weeks removed from his 17th birthday, Walton is now putting his full focus back on boxing after inking a deal to be represented by Most Valuable Promotions, the company founded by Jake Paul and business partner Nakisa Bidarian.

While he will return to acting one day in the future, Walton makes it clear that boxing was always his first love, and that definitely hasn’t changed.

“I did that project [with Euphoria] but my priority now is boxing,” Walton said. “That’s where my heart is. I have 85 amateur bouts. That’s what I think I do best.

“For now, I’m definitely taking a step back [from acting] and just focusing on boxing. I’ve got to do what I love at the end of the day.”

With a goal to reach 100 amateur bouts before turning 18 in 2024, the year he wants to debut as a professional boxer, Walton admits that acting will have to go on the backburner for now.

“It’s hard to do both,” Walton said. “Eventually I will, but I’m about to go pro in a year, and I really want to make a big impact on the boxing world in the beginning.”

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