Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua, MBE (born 15 October 1989) is a British professional boxer. He is currently a unified world heavyweight champion, having held the IBF title since 2016, and the WBA (Super) and IBO titles since April 2017. He 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.Anthony Joshua was rejected by Nigerian coaches in Abuja who said he wasn’t good enough (Twitter/Anthony Joshua)
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, afterJoe Frazier, to win a world heavyweight title whilst still reigning as Olympic champion at the top weight.
Joshua was born 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.
A late starter in the sport, Joshua only 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. “Turning down that £50,000 was easy. I didn’t take up the sport for money, I want to win medals.” He also went on to win the same tournament the following year.
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. In October 2011 he was named Amateur Boxer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Club of Great Britain.
Joshua had an amateur record of 40-3.
2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships
During the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, Joshua marked his sudden arrival on the world scene when he beat Italian reigning World & Olympic champion Roberto Cammarelle, and went on to stop Erik Pfeifer of Germany in the semis before losing by a single point to local boxer, Magomedrasul Majidov winning a silver medal. En route to the final, Joshua secured his place at the 2012 Olympic Games in the 91 kg+ division as a relative new-comer to the elite level of the sport.
Ahead of his anticipated WBA championship bout againstWladimir Klitschko on Saturday, April 29, it has been revealed that Anthony Joshua was rejected by Nigerian coaches.
Joshua is born to an Irish-Nigerian father, Robert and a Nigerian mother and spent some of his early years in Nigeria.
On Saturday, about 90,000 fans are expected at Wembley to watch him fight Klitschko in what is the biggest boxing fight in 2017. Joshua would have been a registered Nigerian boxer if he had his wish and represented Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.According to Nigerian boxing legend Jerry Okorodudu, Joshua wanted to represent Nigeria at the 2012 Olympics, but coaches in Nigeria told him he had no chance.
“He asked to join the Nigerian trials but they told him if he was good enough he’d fight for England,” Okorodudu told BBC Sport.Joshua went into the 2012 London Olympics as a British fight and won Gold for Great Britain. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire(MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to boxing.
Despite the rejection, Joshua still loves Nigeria and has several times credited his time in the country for his success as a boxer.
In a recent interview with UK Daily Mail, the 27-year-old revealed that he learnt more about discipline during his time in boarding school in Nigeria.
Credit: WIKIPEDIA, UK Daily Mail,