Nigeria: Anthony Joshua - British Boxer

Photo: Pixabay
3 February 2019

Anthony Joshua is a British professional boxer of Nigerian origin, who is a current world heavyweight champion, along with having set multiple other records. He holds his well-earned IBF title since 2016, and he also has WBA and IBO titles, which he got in April 2017.

The famous boxer Anthony Joshua was born on the 15th of October, 1989, in Watford (Hertfordshire, England). He has Nigerian roots: his mother, Yeta Odusanya, is Nigerian, and his father Robert Joshua is British, but he also has Nigerian ancestry.

His full name is Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua, and at school, he was often called "Femi" by friends and teachers, as a reference to his middle name Oluwafemi. He also has a famous cousin - a professional boxer Ben Ileyemi, who is also unbeaten. Anthony spent his early years in Nigeria.

He only came back to the UK together with his family when he was seventh years old to join the Kings Langley secondary school. He grew in Garston, Hertfordshire, and was a sports-loving kid. He was excellent in football. Apart from that, in his ninth year, he broke the school record in athletics when he ran 100m in 11.6 seconds.

Before becoming a professional boxer and taking up training full-time, Anthony worked s a bricklayer. Interesting fact about him is that he was put in prison for fighting someone. When he was released, he was made to wear a tag. In 2007, at the age of 18, Anthony Joshua began boxing - this was a suggestion of his cousin Ben, who also became a boxer later.

He started training at the Finchley ABC club in North London, which also raised another heavyweight professional boxer - Dereck Chisora. Anthony Joshua proceeded to win Haringey Box Cup in two consecutive years - 2009 and 2010. In 2010, he also became a winner of ABA Championship for seniors.

He was offered huge money to move on to the professional boxing - £50,000. But he refused, explaining his decision with the wish to win medals and succeed in sports. He said that he did not take up sports just for money. In 2010, he became a boxer on Great Britain's national team, and later he proceeded to become a champion of Amateur Boxing championship, after defeating his opponent, Amin Isa.

The subsequent year at the same tournament, he managed to beat some dangerous opponents but was defeated by Mihai Nistor from Romania. Nevertheless, Anthony Joshua set the amateur record of 40-3, which was absolutely impressive. In 2011, he was caught by police for speeding and turned out that he brought herbal cannabis in his sports bag.

For that, he was suspended from Great Britain's boxing team and sentenced to community service for one year. After a lot of hard work, Anthony Joshua managed to become a participant of Summer Olympic Games in 2012, which took place in London.

Despite winning the silver medal at the world championship, he was considered as a beginner on the international boxing scene. He survived three difficult rounds in his opening boxing match, and he got the result 17:16.

Many sports experts found this decision of the judge controversial, because his opponent, Erislandy Savon, was stronger. But Anthony still went on to the next round, where he had to fight Zhang Zhilei, the silver medalist of 2008 Olympic Games. He won by 15:11, which guaranteed him at least a bronze medal of the Games. His next opponent was a boxer from Kazakhstan, Ivan Dychko. Despite being shorter, Joshua still won by 13:11 and earned a place in the final match of Olympics. In the final, he had to fight against Roberto Cammarelle from Italy, who was a current Olympic champion and a former world champion.

However, this did not scare Anthony Joshua. While he conceded in two first rounds, he managed to level the score in the third one and was announced the new Olympic champion by a professional jury. Many boxing experts criticized this decision, saying that he was announced a winner not because he was stronger, but because the Olympic Games took place in Great Britain. Despite everything, Anthony Joshua was still treated as a national hero.

In 2013, he even was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his huge contribution to British boxing. In the same year, Joshua announced that he is going to move on to the professional sport. His professional debut was made on the 5th of October, 2013, at the O2 Arena in London.

He fought against the Italian boxer Emanuelue Leo and defeated him. Since then, he had a lot of fights, and all of them were successful. He had 20 professional fights, and in all of them, he won by knockout, which means Anthony Joshua is a real threat to every professional boxer. In 2017, he defeated the famous Wladimir Klitschko by knockout.

Anthony Joshua is ranked as the best heavyweight boxer in the world by some influential sources like BoxRec and Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. He is the second British boxer to win both Olympic gold medal and a title of world champion. Except that, he is a second boxer in the world who has won a world heavyweight title while he was still a current Olympic champion.

The boxer lives with his mother in a simple flat in North London. He has a son called Joseph Bayley Prince Joshua, who was born on the 6th of October, 2015, at the Watford Hospital. For a long time, the boxer kept the birth of his son a secret. The mother of little Joseph is Nicole Osborne, who was his lover since school, but the current status of their relationship is unknown.

Anthony was reported to have bought an expensive flat in London for Nicole. Currently, he said that he does not have a lot of time for dating because his professional successes are a bigger priority for him. However, he often finds time for his little son and spends every spare minute with him.

He also posts the photos of Joseph on social media, which makes it clear that he cares about his baby boy. Anthony Joshua is a good example of a self-made successful person, who achieved everything after years of training and self-development. Even being one of the most successful boxers of our time, he still remains a reserved person and does not flaunt his professional achievements.

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