The biggest name in heavyweight boxing

The biggest name in British boxing having dominated the heavyweight division since winning his world titles in a thriller against Wladimir Klitschko in early 2017. A late starter in the boxing world, a #Nigerian – Watford born Anthony Joshua shot to fame at the 2012 Olympics, winning gold in the super heavyweight division. He was rewarded with an MBE and then turned professional, where his career has soared to new heights.

BACKGROUND

Anthony Joshua (AJ), also known as Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua, is a well-known British professional boxer. AJ is undoubtedly one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Born on the 15 October 1989 in Watford, Hertfordshire, he is currently 33 years old (as at 2022)

He spent the early parts of his life in Nigeria. At age five, his parents divorced, and his mother made the decision to return to the UK.

Anthony Joshua had his elementary education at Mayflower School, Ikenne, Ogun State, Nigeria; before heading to Kings Langley Secondary School, in the UK for his secondary education.

Joshua began his athletic career as a football player and didn’t switch to boxing until he was in his late teens. 

Growing up, he was a standout in football and athletics. He also had great promise as a sprinter when he broke the 100-meter record by running the distance in 11.6 seconds.

Joshua has successfully defended four of the six heavyweight championships held and he was a finalist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. He is known for competing in high-profile fights with significant financial stakes and attracting record-breaking audiences.

At the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and numerous other international athletic competitions, he has successfully represented Great Britain. 

In 2009 and 2010, Anthony Joshua won the Haringey Boxing Cup twice in a row. He won all one of his 18 amateur fights during his blazing 20s.

He won the gold medal at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Thanks to his incredible ascent from the amateur ranks to the world championships, he has established himself as a fearsome puncher and top-tier opponent.

In 2013, Joshua defeated Emanuele Leo in his professional debut via TKO. In 2014, he defeated Denis Bakjtov to win the WBC International Heavyweight Championship. In 2015, Joshua defeated Gary Cornish and Dillian Whyte to win the British and Commonwealth heavyweight belts.

In order to win his first world championship, he next defeated IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin in 2016. He defeated Dominic Breazeale in a fight to retain this championship.

In 2017, he faced Eric Molina in what turned out to be the second defence of his IBF title. Joshua kept winning, and the average number of people watching his matches grew.

The most significant bout Joshua had to confront was his contest with Klitschko. Only three of his professional fights had been lost by Klitschko, a boxing legend. For Joshua, it was a chance to maintain his perfect record in front of his home audience. Joshua prevailed after 11 rounds of fighting.

There was talk of a rematch between the two men, however, on August 3, 2017, Klitschko announced his retirement from boxing, putting a stop to those rumours.

The next opponent for Anthony Joshua’s WBA championship defence was Kubrat Pulev.

Carlos Takam, however, took Pulev’s position because of injury. Since more than 70,000 tickets had already been sold, this caused a stir. But on the day of the fight, crowds flocked to the venue to watch Joshua successfully defend his title.

For his maximum career income of £18 million, he would then face Joseph Parker. The bout was planned to take place at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on January 8, 2018. Joshua was able to successfully defend the WBO belt in a thrilling contest. Additionally, he kept his WBA, IBF, and IBO belts.

2019 saw one of the biggest upsets in boxing history as Andy Ruiz Jr. defeated Joshua to win the championship. Joshua lost his first fight in the United States after being repeatedly knocked to the ground. 

Several months later, in Saudi Arabia, Joshua defeated Ruiz in a rematch. In December 2020, 

Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion, and Anthony Joshua both committed to a battle in order to become unchallenged. For a trilogy showdown against Fury, Deontay Wilder would turn on the rematch clause. When the trilogy was revealed, Joshua engaged in a fight against Usyk. 

In their first match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September 2021, Joshua was defeated by Usyk and forfeited his world heavyweight championships.

There was a call for a rematch, which appeared to be unable to be held at the beginning of 2022 because of the war in Ukraine. 

His opponent had decided to join the resistance to the Russian invasion. Months later, he was allowed to leave the country and prepare for Joshua.

The most anticipated rematch, themed “The Rage on the Red Sea” was scheduled to be held at the indoor arena at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, August 20, 2022.

In the fight, Joshua is hoping to defend his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight belts. The fight will also get Joshua closer to being the undisputed champion if he can reclaim the crowns.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is reportedly providing a large base purse of $150 million for the rematch, with both boxers splitting it evenly, according to The Mirror.

Joshua is undoubtedly one of the richest athletes in the world. His multiple investments, bonuses, endorsements, and sponsorship agreements with Beats Electronics, Jaguar, Hugo Boss, British Airways, Under Armour, and Audemars Piguet have increased his net worth recently.

In recognition of his services in boxing for his home country, Joshua received the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award in 2013

Throughout his professional boxing career, Joshua has won 24 of his 26 professional bouts.


 

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