Anthony Joshua is a British professional boxer who is currently a unified world heavyweight champion, having held the IBF title since 2016, and the WBA and IBO titles since April 2017.
Joshua was born 15 October 1989 in Watford to a Nigerian mother and a British father of Nigerian and Irish descent. His cousin is fellow unbeaten professional boxer Ben lleyemi. The pair made their professional debuts together in 2013.
Joshua grew up for some of his early years in Nigeria and returned to the UK halfway through Year Seven to join Kings Langley Secondary School. Growing up on the Meriden Estate in Garston, Hertfordshire, Joshua was called ‘Femi’ by his friends and former teachers, due to his middle name ‘Oluwafemi’. He excelled at football and athletics and broke the Year Nine 100m record with a time of 11.6 seconds.
Joshua began boxing in 2007, aged 18, when his cousin suggested he take it up. His club, Finchley ABC in Barnet, North London, is also home to professional heavyweight Dereck Chisora. Joshua won the 2009 and 2010 Haringey Box Cup. Joshua won the senior ABA Championships in 2010, in only his 18th bout, and later turned down £50,000 to turn professional.
In 2010 his domestic success earned him a place on the GB Boxing team and later the same year he became British amateur champion at the GB Amateur Boxing Championships after defeating Amin Isa. In June 2011 at the 2011 European Amateur Boxing Championships he beat Eric Berechlin and Cathal McMonagle but was stopped by aggressive Romanian southpaw Mihai Nistor after receiving several standing counts. Joshua had an amateur record of 40-3.
Joshua went into the 2012 London Olympics as a novice on the international scene, despite being a world silver medalist. The home boxer battled through three tough rounds in his opening contest before being given the result 17:16. This decision caused some controversy with most observers believing Savon had clearly won the bout. whilst a few others taking the view that he had won on merit In his next bout he fought 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalist, Zhang Zhilei dropping his taller opponent in the middle round, Joshua won by 15:11 guaranteeing at least a bronze medal. In the semi-final Joshua met Kazakhstan boxer, Ivan Dychko, but despite Joshua’s height disadvantage he won by 13:11 victory gaining a place in the Olympic final. Joshua met 32-year-old reigning Olympic Champion and former twice World Champion, Roberto Cammarelle of Italy in the closing bout. After conceding the first two rounds (6:5 and 13:10) to Cammarelle, an adversary he had already beaten the previous year, Joshua grew into the fight and fought back to level the scores after the third round (18:18), Joshua was announced winner via count-back and the new Olympic champion. The final decision was criticised by some boxing experts, being defined as a “home decision.
On 11 July 2013, it was confirmed that Joshua had turned professional under the Matchroom Sport promotional banner. Joshua made his professional debut on 5 October 2013 at the O2 Arena in London in the Main-Event of a card featuring Scott Quigg’s successful WBA super-bantamweight title defence against Yoandris Salinas, beating Italian Emanuelue Leo by a TKO in the first round.
On 29th April, Anthony Joshua beat Wladimir Kiltschko in stunning knockout victory.
Joshua was a bricklayer before taking up boxing full-time. In 2009, Joshua was put on remand in Reading Prison for what he describes as “fighting and other crazy stuff”. He was made to wear an electronic tag on his ankle when released.
In March 2011, Joshua was pulled over by the police for speeding in Colindale, North London. He was found with 8ozs of herbal cannabis hidden in a sports bag in his Mercedes-Benz. He was charged with possession with intent to supply a class B drug, an offence that carries a maximum 14-year sentence. Joshua was suspended from GB boxing squad and was sentenced to a 12-month community order and 100 hours’ unpaid work after pleading guilty at crown court.
In November 2016, Joshua announced he would be investing in a members-only fitness gym, BXR. Joshua teamed up with the founders of BXR and put together a number of sports therapists, boxers, boxing coaches and MMA fighters. The gym was set to open in January 2017 on Chiltern Street in Marylebone, London.
Joshua has said that he doesn’t follow any particular religion, but is interested in religion in general. In January 2017, he posted a photo of himself praying at a mosque in Dubai; the image generated significant anti-Muslim backlash against him on social media.
The Heavywight champ still lives with his mother Yeta Odusanya in their north London flat – but decided to have a lie-in instead.
Professional Boxing Record
Anthony has had 19 fights of which he won 19 times by knockout.
Awards & Recognitions
Anthony previously held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles from 2015 to 2016. As an amateur he represented Britain at the 2012 Olympics, winning a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division; he also represented England at the 2011 World Championships, winning silver.
As of April 2017, Joshua is ranked as the world’s best heavyweight by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and BoxRec. He also boasts a 100% knockout-to-win ratio. Joshua is the second British boxer, after James DeGale, to win both a gold medal at the Olympics and a world title by a major professional sanctioning body, as well as being the first British heavyweight to do so. He is also the second boxer, after Joe Frazier, to win a world heavyweight title whilst still reigning as Olympic champion at the top weight.