He’s an Olympic gold medallist, is touted as a future world heavyweight champion and will feature in a WBC international title fight at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday 11th October, but what don’t you know about 24-year-old Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua?
Born in Watford to Nigerian parents, Joshua began boxing at the relatively late age of 18 and joined Finchley ABC in Barnet, North London. Proving to be a quick learner of the sport, he won the 2009 Haringey Box Cup and, along with winning the 2010 senior ABA Championships, successfully defended it a year later.
Such rapid progress earned Joshua a place on Great Britain’s amateur boxing team and he became British champion later in 2010.
Arrested for possession of and intent to supply marijuana in March 2011, Joshua escaped a prison sentence, but was ordered to serve a 12-month community service order and complete 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also suspended from Great Britain’s boxing squad.
Returning from his suspension having matured as a person, 6ft 7inch Joshua defeated the then reigning World & Olympic champion Roberto Cammarelle before losing the final of the 2011 World Amateur Championships in Azerbaijan.
In recognition of his efforts as a dedicated boxer who’d swapped night clubs for night runs, In October 2011, Joshua was honoured by being named Amateur Boxer of the Year by the British Boxing Writers Club.
Gold Medal Winner
Beating Erislandy Savon – the nephew of legendary three-time Olympic champion Felix – 2008 Olympic silver medallist Zhilei Zhang, Ivan Dychko and Roberto Cammarelle (again), Joshua became Olympic champion in his home city of London at the 2012 Olympics.
To complete a remarkable turnaround for someone that could have gone to jail less than two years earlier, In early 2013 and at just 23 years of age, Joshua was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his amateur boxing achievements.
8-0 Pro Record
Opting to turn professional in mid 2013, Joshua signed a deal with Barry Hearn’s Matchroom promotions, completing his debut with a live on TV first round stoppage of Emanuele Leo in October of that year.
Second round defeats of Paul Butlin, Hrvoje Kisicek and Dorian Darch quickly followed, before Hector Avila and Matt Legg were each beaten in a round. Joshua then defeated Matt Skelton in the second round and, two months later, won his most recent fight, against Konstantin Airich, in the third round.
Potential Fight with David Haye
Providing he can get by his next opponent, Denis Bakhtov, and then former British and Commonwealth champion Michael Sprott, Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, thinks that the gold medal winner will be ready for a fight with the winner of the Tyson Fury v Derek Chisora rematch, before potentially setting up a big-money mega-fight with David Haye in 2015.
Former two-weight world champion Haye has reportedly recovered from the shoulder injury that caused his second career retirement as a boxer, and the ex-WBA heavyweight champion is said to be considering returning to the sport.He’s an Olympic gold medallist, is touted as a future world heavyweight champion and will feature in a WBC international title fight at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday 11th October, but what don’t you know about 24-year-old Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua?