Olaseni Oluwafemi Anthony JoshuaOBE is an English professional fighter who was born on October 15, 1989. Between 2016 and 2021, he twice held the heavyweight titles of the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO, rendering him a two-time former unified world heavyweight champion. Between 2015 and 2016, he won the British and Commonwealth heavyweight championships in his native nation.
At the 2011 World Championships, Joshua fought as an amateur for England in the super-heavyweight division and won a silver medal. He also earned a gold medal while representing Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics. In 2014, a year after turning professional, he was given The Ring magazine’s Prospect of the Year honor. The Ring and the Boxing Writers Association of America awarded him the 2017 Fight of the Year title for his win over Wladimir Klitschko. Anthony Joshua is the first English heavyweight boxer to win a world championship by a major professional sanctioning body and the second English boxer, after James DeGale, to do so.
As of October 2022, Anthony Joshua is ranked second among heavyweights by BoxRec, third by The Ring, fourth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and ESPN, and sixth overall, pound for pound. Since 2014, BoxRec has placed him among the top 10 heavyweights in the world, and at the end of 2016 and 2017, he was rated first. Joshua has a knockout-to-win rate of 91.67% and a knockout-to-fight average of 63.64% in contests for the heavyweight world title.
The firstborn of Yeta and Robert Joshua, Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua, was born on October 15, 1989, in Watford, Hertfordshire. His mother is from Nigeria, and his father is of Irish and Nigerian ancestry. Anthony Joshua is of aristocratic rank among the Yoruba people of Nigeria, whose history can be particularly traced back to Joshua. Ben Ileyemi, his cousin, is also a competitive boxer. 2013 saw the couple’s joint professional début. For a part of his early years in Nigeria, Joshua attended Mayflower School in Ikenne. After his parents separated when he was 12 years old, he moved back to the UK and enrolled at Kings Langley Secondary School in the middle of Year 7. Growing up on the Meriden Estate in Garston, Hertfordshire, he was called “Femi” by his friends and former instructors because of his middle name, Oluwafemi. He was a standout in football and athletics, breaking the school mark for the Year Nine 100 meter dash in 11.6 seconds.
Anthony Joshua, an amateur boxer, began the sport in 2007, at the age of 18, on the advice of his relative. In 2009 and 2010, Joshua won the Haringey Box Cup. Additionally, Joshua won the senior ABA Championships in 2010 after just 18 fights, and he subsequently declined a £50,000 contract to turn pro. “It was simple to decline that £50,000. I started playing the sport for trophies, not money. The following year, he triumphed in the same competition. He was selected for the GB Boxing squad in 2010 as a result of his domestic success, and the following year, after defeating Amin Isa at the GB Championships, he won the British amateur title. He defeated the German Eric Brechlin (23:16) and the Irishman Cathal McMonagle (22:10) at the 2011 European Championships in June before being stopped by the Romanian southpaw Mihai Nistor after getting several standing counts. The Boxing Writers Club of Great Britain awarded him Amateur Boxer of the Year in October 2011. Joshua had a 40-3 amateur record.
Roberto Cammarelle of Italy, the reigning world and Olympic champion, was defeated by Anthony Joshua at the 2011 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. Anthony Joshua then defeated German boxer Erik Pfeifer in the semifinals before falling to local boxer Magomedrasul Majidov and winning the silver medal by a single point. As a relative newcomer to the elite level of the sport, Joshua earned his spot at the 2012 Olympic Games in the super-heavyweight category by making it to the final.
Despite winning a silver medal at the world championships, Anthony Joshua entered the 2012 London Olympics as a rookie on the global stage. Erislandy Savón of Cuba, who is the nephew of three-time Olympic champion Félix Savón and is rated No. 4 in the world by AIBA, was drawn against him in the super-heavyweight event’s round of 16. The home boxer fought valiantly through three grueling rounds of his initial bout before receiving the score of 17:16. The majority of observers thought Savon had easily won the fight, but a few others thought he had won on merit. This ruling sparked some debate. Zhang Zhilei, a silver winner from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was his opponent in the following match. By outlasting his taller rival 15:11, Joshua secured at least a bronze medal prize. Despite being shorter than Kazakh fighter Ivan Dychko, Anthony Joshua defeated him by a score of 13:11 to advance to the Olympic final. In the final fight, Roberto Cammarelle of Italy, 32, a current Olympic winner and a former two-time world champion, faced off against Joshua. Joshua grew into the fight and came back to tie the scores after the third round after giving up the first two rounds (6:5 and 13:10) to Cammarelle, a foe he had already defeated the previous year. (18:18). Joshua was crowned the new Olympic champion and declared the count-back victor. Some boxing experts criticized the final judgment for being a “home decision,” as it was referred to.
In the 2013 New Year’s Honours, he was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his contributions to boxing.
Anthony Joshua officially became a professional on July 11, 2013, according to the Matchroom Sport advertising campaign. Joshua made his professional debut on October 5, 2013, at the O2 Arena in London, where Scott Quigg successfully defended his WBA super-bantamweight championship against Yoandris Salinas. Joshua defeated Italian Emanuele Leo in the first round via technical knockout (TKO). Paul Butlin, an English heavyweight, was Joshua’s opponent in his second match, which took place on October 26, 2013, at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena. When the referee determined Butlin was receiving too much punishment in the second round, the fight was stopped and Joshua was proclaimed the winner via TKO. Joshua’s third match was against the Croatian Hrvoje Kišiček on the Prizefighter Series event on November 14, 2013. In the second round, Joshua won via technical knockout (TKO), earning his third straight knockout win.
Anthony Joshua improved to 4-0 in February 2014 when he defeated Dorian Darch via second-round TKO. In Glasgow, Scotland, the following month, on the undercard of Ricky Burns vs. Terence Crawford, Joshua stopped Hector Alfredo Avila in the first round. On the undercard of Carl Froch vs. George Groves II in May of that year, Joshua defeated Matt Legg in one round. Joshua stopped English fighter Matt Skelton in the second round of his seventh battle, which took place on July 12, 2014, at Liverpool’s Echo Arena. In his eighth battle, Joshua defeated German heavyweight Konstantin Airich in the third round at the Manchester Arena on September 13, 2014, to improve his undefeated record to 8-0.
On October 11, 2014, at The O2 Arena in London, Anthony Joshua competed for the vacant WBC International heavyweight title against Dennis Bakhtov, the former champion seeking to win the title for a second time, in the main event of a Matchroom Sport card for the second time in his career. Joshua, who is only 24 years old, defeated his opponent by second-round KO, improving his record to 9-0 and claiming the WBC International Heavyweight Championship. On November 22, 2014, Anthony Joshua won his tenth fight, stopping Michael Sprott in the first round to improve his record to ten victories. Joshua had only spent 36 minutes and 36 seconds in the ring overall during his professional career because the battle lasted just 1 minute and 26 seconds.
Anthony Joshua suffered a back injury, forcing the cancellation of his fight with American fighter Kevin Johnson, which was scheduled to take place on January 31, 2015, at London’s O2 Arena. Anthony Joshua defeated Jason Gavern on April 4, 2015, in Newcastle by way of third-round KO. Joshua knocked out Raphael Zumbano Love in the second round of his twelve fight on May 9, 2015, in Birmingham. Joshua stopped former world championship contender Kevin Johnson for the first time in his career on May 30, 2015 (29-6-1, 14 KOs). The fight was halted by the referee not long into the second round after Johnson had been spared by the bell in the first. Johnson had previously defeated opponents like Vitali Klitschko, Tyson Fury, and Derek Chisora over the course of twelve rounds. Despite making a comeback in March 2017, Johnson declared his retirement a day after the fight.
Anthony Joshua will challenge Scottish boxer Gary Cornish (21-0, 12 KOs) for the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title on September 12 at The O2 Arena in London, it was revealed on July 16th, 2015. Cornish was the IBO Intercontinental champion at the time of the contest. Joshua defeated Cornish in the first round after only 90 seconds for the empty championship. Prior to the bout being declared over, Cornish was struck out twice. Gary had a strong jab, so I had to be careful not to take any of those punches, Joshua said after the fight. I made an attempt to dodge a big jab that he was firing. He was knocked down when I was able to connect with my right hand in just the correct way.
Joshua versus Whyte
Anthony Joshua’s manager, Eddie Hearn, announced that Dillian Whyte would next challenge Joshua for Joshua’s undefeated streak after Joshua defeated Cornish. On December 12, 2015, Anthony Joshua faced Whyte in a rematch for the empty British heavyweight championship while also making his first defense of the Commonwealth heavyweight crown. The melee was broadcast on Sky Box Office. In a prior match between the two in 2009, Whyte emerged victorious. Joshua won the fight by firstly shaking Whyte with a right hook to the temple and ultimately finishing with a devastating uppercut for the KO in the seventh round after surviving the first scare of his career in the second round. Anthony Joshua reportedly made £3 million from this fight alone after agreeing to a new five-year contract with Matchroom that gives him a cut of the PPV sales.
Anthony Joshua would challenge IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) on April 9 at the O2 Arena, it was confirmed in February 2016. Martin was making the first defense of the championship he earned in January 2016 after defeating Vyacheslav Glazkov to claim the open position. Martin was held at bay by Joshua in the first round, and in the second, Anthony Joshua used a straight right hand to knock Martin to the ground. Because Martin took too long to stand up this time, he was unable to defeat the count, and the referee stopped the fight, giving Anthony Joshua his first world championship.
Martin received harsh criticism for his performance and what appeared to be a lack of desire to prevail in the battle. He was accused of giving up too soon by onlookers who believed he could have continued fighting more quickly. Later, Martin blamed his lack of mental focus on the distractions leading up to the battle. Only Tony Tucker’s reign in 1987 was shorter in terms of professional boxing annals, and Martin’s reign as IBF heavyweight champion was even shorter at just 85 days.
Breazeale versus Joshua
For Anthony Joshua’s first championship defense, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed a three-man shortlist from the top 15 boxers in the IBF rankings. This featured unbeaten up-and-coming fighter Dominic Breazeale alongside past WBC heavyweight champions Bermane Stiverne (25-1-2, 21 KOs) and Eric Molina (25-3, 19 KOs), who were both recently defeated by American WBC champion Deontay Wilder. (17–0, 15 KOs). Joshua will next face Dominic Breazeale on June 25, 2016, at London’s O2 Arena, it was confirmed on April 25. The IBF placed Breazeale 13th, behind fellow British boxers David Haye and Derek Chisora. After Dillian Whyte, Breazeale became just the second fighter to challenge Anthony Joshua beyond three rounds. Joshua successfully defended his IBF heavyweight title with a seventh-round knockout victory after turning in a dominant display. Breazeale was severely knocked out by a powerful left hand. Eddie Hearn predicted that Anthony Joshua would face IBF mandatory challenger Joseph Parker in November following the battle. 289,000 people watched the battle on Showtime on average in the afternoon. Averaging 227,000 people watched the game.
Joshua unveiled a new multi-fight contract with US broadcaster Showtime a week after the fight against Breazeale was revealed. Showtime broadcast the fight live in the US after agreeing to be Anthony Joshua’s sole US broadcaster.
Molina versus Joshua
On November 26, at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Joshua will defend his IBF championship, as was revealed in August. However, it was revealed that Anthony Joshua would be fighting at the Manchester Arena, defending his world title against former world title challenger Eric Molina (25-3, 19 KOs), who was coming off a stoppage victory against Tomasz Adamek, although he was behind on the official scorecards. Bryant Jennings and David Price were the names being pushed forward to fight Anthony Joshua next. Showtime broadcast the battle live in the US. Joshua knocked Molina out in the third round after two one-sided rounds in which Molina barely threw a strike. After a right hand to the chin, he was initially knocked down. Although Molina beat the count, a barrage of punches forced referee Steve Gray to stop the battle. The battle had an average viewership of 368,000 and a peak audience of 390,000 on Showtime, according to Nielsen Media Research. Molina received a two-year fighting suspension from the UK from 28 October 2017 to 28 October 2019 from UK Anti-Doping on May 22, 2018. After losing to Joshua, Molina tested positive for the drug dexamethasone. There was some debate because Molina had engaged in two subsequent fights in 2017.
First tenure as heavyweight champion in all divisions
Klitschko vs. Joshua
On November 2, 2016, the WBA approved Anthony Joshua and Klitschko’s unification fight for the vacant WBA (Super) championship, which was formerly held by Tyson Fury. According to the WBA agreement, if Joshua beat Eric Molina to keep his title, the fight would take place at London’s Wembley Stadium on April 29, 2017.
Hearn made the formal announcement of the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight in the ring following Anthony Joshua’s third-round knockout of Molina. The victor will have to take on mandatory challenger Luis Ortiz next, according to WBA president Gilberto J. Mendoza, and deadlines will be set after the unification bout. A day later, the IBF declared that the victor would have to take on Kubrat Pulev as their mandatory challenger. One of Anthony Joshua or Klitschko was expected to relinquish a championship due to this conflict with the WBA enforcing their mandatory. Eddie Hearn revealed in January 2017 that more than 80,000 tickets had been sold, breaking Carl Froch vs. George Groves II’s previous record for the biggest box office draw. He asked that 5,000 extra tickets be made accessible. According to reports, Joshua would make around £15 million from the match. Klitschko, who was 41 at the time of the battle, weighed 240 and a quarter pounds, which was the lowest weight he had reached since 2009. Anthony Joshua, 27, weighed 250 pounds more than average.
Anthony Joshua won the high-drama fight by TKO in front of an audience of 90,000 spectators, a post-war record. Both fighters gave it their all. The first four rounds were closely contested and careful. Klitschko was knocked to the ground by Joshua’s barrage of strikes in the fifth round. For the rest of round six, a furious Klitschko took charge, landing solid punches and causing his own knockdown. After a few more cautious rounds in which both fighters were wary of one another, Anthony Joshua regained his energy in round eleven and launched an assault that knocked Klitschko to the ground. Klitschko stood up once more, but Anthony Joshua once more took him down in the round. While Klitschko was pressed up against the ropes, Joshua threw a barrage of unanswered punches, which caused the referee to halt the fight.
Two of the judges had Joshua winning with scores of 96-93 and 95-93 at the moment of the stoppage, while the third judge had Klitschko winning with a score of 95-93. According to CompuBox statistics, Joshua connected on 107 of his 355 total strikes (30%) while Klitschko connected on 94 of 256 (37%). In the post-fight chat, Joshua referred to Fury as “Tyson Fury, where you at, baby? Please, show them what they want to see. All I want to do is attack everybody. Right now, I’m really loving this. Joshua stated in the post-fight news conference that he would not object to facing Klitschko again if he desired a rematch. Huge admiration to Wladimir for taking on the division’s young lions. I don’t object, he can decide. So long as Rob approves, I’m fine to go. Anthony Joshua’s next match is most likely going to happen at the end of the year, potentially at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, according to Eddie Hearn.
In the US, Showtime averaged 659,000 viewers per bout. The fight started around 5:00 p.m. ET and 2:00 p.m. and was broadcast live. The fight’s highest audience, according to PT. Nielsen Media Research, was 687,000 during rounds five and six. This was an improvement over Anthony Joshua’s earlier Showtime performances, which were broadcast live in the late afternoon. The HBO delayed tape-replay averaged 738,000 viewers, with a high of 890,000. German TV station RTL stated in a press release that an average of 10.43 million people viewed the fight. 9.59 million people on average watched the entire game. This number outperformed the 8.91 million viewers who watched Klitschko vs. Fury in 2015.
Anthony Joshua received permission from the IBF on June 7 to face Klitschko again rather than the required challenger Kubrat Pulev. The rematch had not yet been announced at this time. Before agreeing to a rematch, Klitschko stated that he required more time to evaluate his circumstances. Eddie Hearn submitted the paperwork to the IBF only a few weeks after the fight in order to seek an exemption from the mandatory defense. The winner of the rematch, according to the IBF, must face Pulev next without any exceptions, and the rematch must occur no later than December 2, 2017. On August 2, Joshua disclosed that, in order to fight on November 11, he would have to begin a three-month training program on August 22. Joshua expressed the hope that a match with Klitschko would be agreed upon by that date. Klitschko, however, declared his retirement from boxing on his website and social media accounts on August 3, 2017, just a short time after the IBF granted an exemption. Consequently, the prospect of a Anthony Joshua v. Klitschko fight was eliminated.
Josh versus Takam
On August 3, 2017, Klitschko declared his retirement from boxing on his website and social media accounts. As a result, the IBF ordered Anthony Joshua and 36-year-old Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) to fight next on August 4 after discovering that Klitschko had retired, with an agreement needing to be made by September 3 of that year. The WBA then gave them 30 days to come to an agreement before requiring Anthony Joshua to make his mandatory defense against their top-ranked boxer Luis Ortiz. Hearn claimed that the plan was to face Pulev first, then Ortiz, and possibly Deontay Wilder in a unification match. On August 22, arrangements between the Joshua and Pulev camps were nearly complete for the 28 October 2017 date, with Las Vegas as a possible host.
The battle between Joshua and Pulev was scheduled to take place at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on August 28. The official announcement was made on September 5 by promoter Eddie Hearn, who said, “I’m thrilled that we will be in Cardiff at the magnificent Principality Stadium for the next stage of the AJ journey. On October 28, nearly 80,000 people will assemble to witness another unforgettable boxing night. The fight card will feature world championship action, domestic title fights, and the brightest rising stars in the sport. Anthony will face his mandatory opponent, Kubrat Pulev, who is rated No. 1 by the IBF. Get set for the upcoming installment from the biggest boxing star in the world. The event had the fastest ticket sales after the official press conference on September 11; the following day, it was announced that 70,000 tickets had been sold. Additionally, it established the mark for the largest indoor boxing audience ever. The previous mark was set at the 1978 New Orleans Superdome during the Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks rematch, which drew 63,000 spectators. Eddie Hearn had the opportunity to speak with other companies because Joshua’s three-fight contract with Showtime had come to an end. In the event that any providers made a higher bid, Showtime would have the first choice and a matching right. Showtime matched HBO’s bid of $1.6 million for the rights to air the battle, ensuring that it would air live in the afternoon on Showtime.
On October 16, there were rumors that Pulev had hurt himself and that the battle might not go as planned. However, Pulev’s camp had kept it quiet despite the fact that the same sources claimed the injury was 10 days old. The injury was subsequently confirmed to be real, and Pulev was replaced on short notice by 36-year-old Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs), who was ranked third by the IBF. In a statement, Eddie Hearn claimed that Pulev’s manager Kalle Sauerland [de] called him to inform him of a shoulder injury the fighter had suffered while sparring. Knowing that Takam’s camp would be the next in line, Hearn claimed that when the Joshua vs. Pulev fight was announced, he called them and instructed them to start a training camp and remain on standby. IBF declared that Joshua’s battle with Takam would fulfill his requirement for defense. Joshua’s official weight was a career-heavy 254 pounds compared to Takam’s 235 pounds, despite Hearn’s claim that he would measure between 235 and 240 pounds.
Joshua maintained his world titles on fight night in front of close to 80,000 spectators with what many viewed as a premature termination in round ten. Officially, the halt occurred at 1 minute and 34 seconds. When the fight was stopped by the judge, Takam was booed by a sizable crowd at ringside. After a cagey first round, Takam accidentally headbutted Joshua in the second, presumably breaking his nose and making Joshua’s eyes water. In the fourth round, Takam’s right eye was sliced by Anthony Joshua. Anthony Joshua used a left hook to the temple to bring Takam to the ground after the referee examined the eye. He survived the count and finished the round. In round seven, Takam’s left eye had a new laceration above it. Throughout the battle, referee Phil Edwards requested several times for the ringside physician to examine Takam. Anthony Joshua began to withdraw in rounds eight and nine, which allowed Takam to advance and deliver some potent blows to Joshua’s head. Joshua started the tenth round with a crisp right uppercut and then rained down strikes. As soon as he noticed this, referee Phil Edwards intervened to break up the brawl. Joshua’s nose was only bruised and swollen, not fractured, according to a doctor.
Judges Pawel Kardyni and Michael Alexander had Anthony Joshua winning 89-81 at the moment of the stoppage, while judge Ron McNair had Joshua winning 90-80. When asked about the stoppage in the post-fight interview, Joshua responded, “I have the utmost respect for Takam. It was a solid battle until the referee stopped it. I’m not interested in what is happening with the authorities. My role is the adversary. I have no influence over the referee’s choice. Takam said he would welcome a rematch because he felt the battle was stopped too soon. Joshua and Hearn discussed upcoming fights in 2018, including contests with Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder, victories over which would crown Joshua the undisputed king, and a matchup with Tyson Fury, who is also English. According to CompuBox statistics, Joshua connected on 152 of the 454 strikes he threw (34%) while Takam was less active, landing 52 of the 222 punches he threw (23%). 334,000 people watched the battle on average when it was broadcast live in the US on Showtime. Later in the evening, a repeat aired to an audience of 309,000 on average.
Joshua vs. Parker
According to rumors, Joseph Parker’s team was considering Lucas Browne as a possible opponent in the event that they were unsuccessful in getting Anthony Joshua to agree to a unification battle. A date in March 2018 was reportedly being discussed with Joshua’s team, but Eddie Hearn proposed an 80-20 split that would favor Joshua, according to Higgins. In an interview with Fairfax Media, Higgins stated that the offer would need to be more fair given that the battle would take place in the UK. Bryant Jennings and Alexander Povetkin were two other fighters mentioned for a battle in the summer of 2018. Parker claimed in a Tweet on November 15 that Charles Martin received less money to retain his IBF title against Joshua than he did. The following day, Higgins informed Fairfax Media that he and Hearn were still working on a mutually beneficial agreement. Parker declared that he was prepared to accept only 35% of the net earnings. On November 22, Higgins made Hearn one last proposition. It’s our ultimate bottom line choice, he said, according to Sky Sports. Anything less, in our opinion, is rude or disgraceful. Hearn said the battle might be confirmed in two weeks on November 29. Higgins suggested Camp Nou as a possible location. Hearn claimed on December 11 that a deal was almost ready to be revealed and that the Principality Stadium was the front-runner to stage the fight. Hearn jokingly claimed that the agreement, which was 65-35, overpaid Parker. Parker would receive between 30 and 35% of the prize money, according to a split revealed by Higgins on December 28. The fight would take place in April 2018, he added. If Joshua loses, a rematch clause will be in effect, according to Higgins. In the event of a repeat, Parker would receive a 55% cut. The battle will take place at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, it was announced on January 8th. The fight was formally scheduled to take place on March 31 in Cardiff, live on Sky Sports Box Office, after negotiations came to an end on January 14. On February 5, Showtime declared they would broadcast the battle live in the US in a formal press release. Joshua was estimated to weigh 247 pounds on February 16—nearly 10 pounds less than when he competed against Takam. Joshua’s weight was recorded at 112.9 kilograms on the scales, according to a photo shared on Twitter. Parker and Joshua both entered the ring lighter than they had in their respective prior matches. Parker was the lowest since his 2016 fight with Solomon Haumono when he weighed in first at 236.7 pounds. Joshua’s weight, 242.2 pounds, was the lowest it had been since his fight with Michael Sprott in 2014. Anthony Joshua was expected to make a career-high salary of £18 million, and Parker was expected to make a salary of £8 million.
Parker’s WBO heavyweight championship was won by Anthony Joshua by 12-round unanimous decision (UD), forcing him to go the distance for the first fight in his 20-0 career. Joshua also successfully defended his WBA (Super), IBF, and IBO titles. Joshua was given two scores of 118-110 and 119-109 by the assessors. Numerous media outlets, including ESPN, scored the battle 116–112 with Joshua coming out on top. Joshua’s 20-fight knockout streak came to an end by completing the distance. Parker made good use of movement to avoid many of Joshua’s assaults, but he did not exert himself enough to take home more victories. Parker got off to a slow start in the early rounds, which gave Joshua an advantage. In round three, there was an unintentional head collision, but neither fighter was disqualified. In round nine, there was yet another unintentional headbutt, and the judge signaled for a brief intermission. Joshua was told to return to his area for a re-tape because the tape on his left glove kept coming undone. Joshua unintentionally elbowed Parker, causing a cut over his left eye. Neither boxer engaged as much as anticipated in round twelve, with Joshua attempting to track down Parker, who was once more on the defensive and appeared to be hanging on. Italian referee Giuseppe Quartarone ruined the match by forbidding both boxers from engaging in inside combat. Parker was primarily negatively impacted by this because he was perceived to have the most success there. Even though both boxers were still firing shots and were on the inside, the judge was stopping the fight every time. Both during and after the battle, the referee received criticism from numerous boxers, commentators, and both the Sky Sports and Showtime broadcast teams.
Anthony Joshua stated, “My strategy in there was kind of stick behind the jab,” when asked about his fight strategy. It’s among the most crucial tools. A solid jab will take you around the globe, according to the proverbial saying that the right hand can get you around the block. Consequently, another title trophy was won. Therefore, I stayed behind the jab and made sure that I was turned on, focused, and ready for 12 rounds, baby! I assumed it was challenging, right? Parker acknowledged his loss with humility and promised to come back even stronger: “Today I lost to a larger, better champion. a lot to improve. Being here was a positive experience. I appreciate having the chance to compete in this huge arena, everyone. We’re going back, training hard, making new plans, and returning better. No regrets, you know, just accept it in stride. We will therefore return. Work harder, Parker responded when asked what he would change. Return with more force and strikes. But I would really like to try again. Just going back to square one. Parker’s team claimed the referee did not speak English during the post-fight news conference, but Joshua and his promoter Hearn disagreed and said he did. According to CompuBox punch statistics, Joshua connected on 139 of his 383 attempted strikes (36.3%) while Parker connected on 101 of his 492 attempts (20.5%).
In the afternoon, Showtime in the US broadcast the battle live. The audience for the live broadcast crested at 379,000 viewers and averaged 346,000. Later in the evening, a replay was broadcast, which saw a rise. Viewership of the replay crested at 483,000 and averaged 430,000. The company that released the data, Nielsen Media Research, does not have the capability to determine whether viewers of the live broadcast also viewed the replay.
Both Anthony Joshua and Wilder’s camps were in communication about the upcoming super battle from April through the end of June 2018. The purse split, date, and location were the major challenges. At one time, Wilder had agreed to face Joshua in the UK, but there were a few minor misunderstandings in the contracts that were being exchanged. Hearn was also negotiating a contract for Joshua to face WBA designated challenger Alexander Povetkin at the same time. (34–1, 24 KOs). Following Povetkin’s knockout of David Price during the Joshua-Parker undercard, the WBA originally sanctioned the bout.
On June 26, the WBA allowed Anthony Joshua’s camp 24 hours to reach a deal with Povetkin, which changed the course of the negotiations. Hearn announced that the Joshua-Wilder fight would still take place in April 2019 at Wembley Stadium even though Joshua was getting closer to facing Povetkin in September 2018. Hearn later clarified that, had Wilder agreed to a fight with Joshua, the WBA would have given an exemption.
Anthony Joshua’s next two bouts will take place at Wembley Stadium in London on September 22 and April 13, according to an announcement made by Hearn on July 5. Joshua vs. Povetkin, a bout for the heavyweight championships of the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO, was formally confirmed for 22 September on Sky Box Office on July 16. Many British commentators and coaches warned Joshua not to underestimate Povetkin and said that he would be a serious danger to Joshua. Anthony Joshua renewed his three-year contract with Matchroom Boxing on July 27. As a result, he would be featured on Sky Box Office for at least another five bouts, including the contest with Povetkin. The WBO announced on August 1 that Joshua’s fight with Povetkin would fulfill his mandatory defenses for the WBA and WBO because Povetkin was rated first by both organizations. Additionally, it was stated that Anthony Joshua would be crowned the WBO Super Champion if he beat Povetkin.
Anthony Joshua overcame an early challenge and finally stopped Povetkin in round seven to keep his world titles in front of close to 80,000 spectators. Povetkin’s big shots and use of mobility to move in and out caused Joshua early harm. In the second round, Joshua’s nostrils started to bleed. Povetkin started to lose energy after round five. With a left hook to the head in round seven, Joshua defeated Povetkin. Povetkin stood back up, but Joshua immediately re-entered the battle with a barrage of powerful blows that forced the referee to stop it. The three judges had Joshua winning by scores of 58-56 twice and 59-55 at the time of the halt.
Anthony Joshua said, “I’ve got my knockout streak back and I found my right hand again,” in the post-fight interview. Taking on Alexander Povetkin is a very difficult task. He offered that and was skilled with the left uppercut. I changed it up after realizing that he was strong to the brain but weak to the body. You lose air with every jab, but I was able to slow him down. Then he said he would ask his followers on Twitter who they would like to see him face next in a poll. According to CompuBox statistics, Anthony Joshua connected on 90 of 256 strikes (or 35%), with 53 of those being jabs. Of his 181 throws, Povetkin connected on 47 (26%). Joshua only had 37 shots fall, compared to Povekin’s 43 power shots. Joshua had a significant size edge over Povetkin as well, as he weighed 246 pounds compared to Povetkin’s 222 pounds. According to the reports, Povetkin and Joshua will each make about £6 million from the battle.
Joshua versus Ruiz Jr.
Anthony Joshua’s Wembley match was still postponed as of December 29, 2018, and Hearn declared that Dillian Whyte was the favorite to face Joshua. Whyte claimed to have heard rumors that Anthony Joshua would forgo the Wembley match and instead take on American challenger Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden while still waiting for Hearn to get in touch with him. Whyte disclosed on January 12 that he had declined Joshua’s “severe lowball” offer to compete against him again. Whyte did not disclose the amount but asserted that it was less than what he won against Chisora in December 2018. Hearn said by January 21 that there was a chance Joshua might compete in the US instead. Hearn claimed that Anthony Joshua had made the proposal for the Whyte battle. Whyte asserted that Joshua did not want to face him because he made no proposals despite being aware since September 2018 that he would be fighting in April 2019. Hearn acknowledged on February 1 that it was increasingly doubtful that Joshua would still compete on April 13 at Wembley Stadium. Whyte declared the Anthony Joshua fight “was dead” and that he was looking at other alternatives, including a possible matchup with Dominic Breazeale, on February 2. Miller claims that Joshua made Whyte an offer of $3 million at first, then raised it to $5 million before lowering it to $3.5 million.
Terms were settled upon on February 8 for Joshua to make his US debut on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City as he defends his undisputed heavyweight titles against Jarrell Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs). The event became the boxing event with the greatest pre-sale revenue in the arena’s history. Miller shoved Anthony Joshua during their first face-off, which sparked immediate tension during the launch news conference. Both parties finally took their seats as the situation calmed down. Following that, there was a back and forth of words before Miller rushed off stage. Anthony Joshua remained and responded to any last-minute inquiries from the press. According to the rumors, Joshua would receive £19.3 million ($25 million) for his US start. According to another story, Anthony Joshua was expected to make $32 million. Miller’s contract with DAZN guaranteed him a pay-out of $4.875 million, a career-high sum that would include two additional fights on the streaming service totaling $3 million.
On April 17, 2019, both teams acknowledged they had received notification from the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association that Miller had tested positive for the illegal drug GW1516. The test findings came from a random urine examination Miller gave to VADA on March 20. On March 31, additional tests revealed that EPO, HGH, and GW1516 were once more positive. Ivan Dychko and Manuel Charr were just two of the boxers who put their names forward to face Anthony Joshua instead. Hearn allegedly had 24 hours to speak with 16 heavyweights. The first name Joshua sought as a replacement was Luis Ortiz. Given that 17,000 tickets had been sold as of that point, 10,000 of which were purchased in the United Kingdom, Hearn was sure that Anthony Joshua would still compete on that day.
Andy Ruiz Jr. (31-1, 20 KOs), a former world title contender, put his name forward to take Miller’s position and face Anthony Joshua for the unified heavyweight titles on June 1, 2019, prior to his fight with Alexander Dimitrenko on April 20, 2019. On April 22, Ruiz formally entered the race by confirming his team had a meeting planned with organizer Eddie Hearn. After it was revealed that Luis Ortiz’s squad had turned down two offers for a career-high payday to face Anthony Joshua, Ruiz rose to the top of the field. Within a week, terms were reached. Joshua vs. Ruiz was officially confirmed and revealed to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on May 1 with one month left until fight night live on DAZN in the US. According to the reports, Ruiz would make about $7 million (£5.36 million) from the fight. Ruiz was defeated by Anthony Joshua for the first time in his career in the third round. Ruiz overcame the count and shortly after got his own knockdown. In a dramatic turn of events,Anthony Joshua was down once more near the conclusion of the round. Joshua was able to escape the following rounds, but the referee stopped the fight after two more knockdowns in the seventh round, giving Ruiz the victory by TKO and taking all four of Joshua’s heavyweight titles. Ruiz had a 57-56 advantage on two scorecards at the time of the halt, while Joshua had a 57-56 advantage on the third. It is comparable to Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas as one of the biggest upsets in boxing annals.
Second tenure as heavyweight champion in all divisions
Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. II
On December 7, 2019, a repeat was held at the specially constructed Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Anthony Joshua weighed 237 pounds (107 kg) at the weigh-in, which is almost ten pounds (4.5 kg) less than during their first encounter. Ruiz, on the other hand, tipped the scales at 284 pounds (129 kg), which is 16 pounds (7.5 kg) more than before. Anthony Joshua boxed a methodical fight that night, using his jab to keep Ruiz at a distance and lateral movement to avoid trading punches up close like he had in their previous meeting. He got off to a good start by cutting Ruiz to the side of his left eye with a quick right hand in the opening round. Anthony Joshua persisted in boxing sensibly and connecting with the more impactful blows. At the conclusion of the fourth round, Ruiz had some success by tagging Joshua in the head and torso, but Joshua maintained complete control of the situation. With scores of 118-110 on two judges’ scorecards and 119-109 on the other, he prevailed by unanimous decision to regain the unified heavyweight titles. Joshua exclaimed in his post-fight interview, “Man, the first time was so lovely, I had to do it twice. Stay humble and ravenous. In both triumph and defeat, I am humble, and I will remain so. Anthony Joshua did a fantastic job, Ruiz said in a gesture of admiration for his opponent.
Josh versus Pulev
Joshua had been scheduled to face Kubrat Pulev in 2017, but Pulev’s injury forced Carlos Takam to step in and take Pulev’s place. Anthony Joshua will defend his heavyweight titles against Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), the IBF’s mandatory challenger, on June 20 at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it was confirmed on March 2, 2020. However, on April 3, 2020, the battle was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fight was once again confirmed, this time with a new date of December 12 and a new location of London’s O2 Arena. Later, the fight was relocated back to Wembley Arena, and it was revealed that thanks to the recent easing of coronavirus restrictions, up to 1,000 fans would be allowed to attend. Anthony Joshua successfully defended his unified heavyweight championships on the night by knocking out Pulev in the ninth round after dropping him twice in the third round. After the fight, Joshua paid tribute to Floyd Mayweather Jr., the former five-division champion, stating, “It was an honor to have him in the house. He has my utmost admiration for what he has accomplished. He came to watch me perform, and I did the pull-counter, one of his favorite techniques. Mayweather acknowledged the compliment and stated, “I’m pleased of Joshua. He is among the top wrestlers in the world. He is a two-time heavyweight champion, has earned [an Olympic] gold medal, and his career is going very well. He is an incredible warrior. He’s a gentleman, and I like what he does.
Usyk vs. Joshua
On December 12, 2020 in London, after defeating IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, Anthony Joshua was asked about the possibility of a unification bout with undefeated WBC and The Ring champion Tyson Fury. Joshua replied, “Whoever’s got the belt, I’d love to compete with him. Let it be Tyson Fury if that’s who it is. Since June 2020, a two-fight agreement between the two champions had been reached “in principle.” Fury declared on his social media on May 17, 2021, that he and Anthony Joshua would face off on August 14, 2021, in Saudi Arabia. The proposed fight between Joshua and Fury was put in jeopardy when arbitration judge Daniel Weinstein issued a decision within 24 hours of the announcement that former WBC champion Deontay Wilder was entitled to exercise his option for a third fight with Fury on a date up to September 15. Wilder had made it clear that he would not step aside to allow the British boxers to proceed. Due to these events, the WBO gave Joshua’s team 48 hours to reach a deal for the fight with Fury on May 21. If they didn’t, they would have forced Joshua to face their mandatory challenger, former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. Because the camps of Joshua and Fury were unable to come to terms, the WBO instructed Joshua to face Usyk on May 22. An agreement for the fight needed to be in place by May 31. A formal statement was made on July 20 confirming that Joshua vs. Usyk would take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25. Joshua suffered his second career defeat that night as Usyk pulled off an upset by outboxing him over the course of 12 rounds to win by unanimous decision with scores of 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113. Joshua was unable to handle Usyk’s movement and variety of attacks, and Usyk came dangerously close to stopping the champion in the closing seconds of the last round.
The one-sided rematch clause that had been outlined in the fight contract had “already been activated in principle, from the side of Anthony Joshua,” according to Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk, who made the announcement on September 29, 2021, four days after Usyk’s victory over Joshua to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Usyk was excited about the possibility of facing Joshua twice, according to Krassyuk: “So I recall when we discussed the issue of rematch with Oleksandr, he was delighted and said, “Wow, cool, I will beat Antokha [sic] twice.” Usyk expressed his desire for the rematch to be held at his native Ukraine’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium, stating, “I would love to have the rematch at Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv.” To maximize revenue, Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, claimed that Ukraine was a “very unlikely” location for the fight: “I think it will be international or the UK, I would think it would be in the UK.” The formal announcement that Usyk and Joshua would square off again on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, came on June 19, 2022. Usyk’s world heavyweight titles would be defended for the first time in this fight, while Anthony Joshua was attempting to win his 12th straight heavyweight title battle and become the third man to hold the title.
Usyk effectively defended his belts despite Joshua’s improved performance compared to his first defeat to Usyk. One judge scored the fight 115-113 for Joshua, while the other two judges scored it 115-113 and 116-112 in Usyk’s favor. The New York Times reported that Joshua delivered 37 body blows as opposed to 15 in their first encounter. Usyk, according to CompuBox, set new marks for the number of punches landed by an opponent of Anthony Joshua (170) and the number of punches landed on Joshua in a single round. (39 punches in the 10th round). After the judges’ scores were announced, Joshua threw two of Usyk’s belts out of the ring and turned to leave the stadium, but he later returned and, after regaining control of the microphone, delivered an emotional speech in which he talked about his life, his fights, Ukraine, and Usyk. Soon after, Anthony Joshua was heard shouting backstage at a spectator who had criticized him: “Who are you talking to? To whom are you speaking? Stop talking so much, man. Joshua sobbed during the post-fight news conference.
Franklin versus Joshua
It was formally announced on February 6, 2023, that Joshua would fight again on April 1 at The O2 Arena against Jermaine Franklin. It would be his first battle under the terms of a five-year, exclusive contract with the sports streaming service DAZN. Anthony Joshua revealed his new relationship with American trainer Derrick James and answered questions from Eddie Hearn, his promoter, during the first pre-fight press conference on February 9. Before Hearn had even finished his query, Anthony Joshua replied, “Money, money, money,” and then went on to say, “I like making money. Directly up. Like, this is a pastime of prizefighting.
Franklin weighed in at 23434 lbs, over 22 lbs lighter than his previous battle against Dillian Whyte, while Joshua weighed in at a career-high 25514 lbs. Anthony Joshua gave a hesitant display that night and frequently started clinches. Despite a cautious beginning to the fight, he used his jab to position his right hand for power strikes and won by unanimous decision with scores of 117-111 (twice) and 118-111 in his favor. The two men got into a minor altercation in the arena after the final bell that bordered on a brawl. Franklin had turned to walk away when Anthony Joshua gave him a tap on the back of the head, starting the fight.
Joshua stated in his post-fight interview that he would be “honored” to compete for the WBC title of the world if he were to next face undefeated WBC champion Tyson Fury.
Anthony Joshua is one of the most marketable athletes in the world, and he has lucrative endorsement agreements with a variety of companies, including Lucozade, Beats By Dre, and Under Armour. He surpassed basketball star Stephen Curry, who had previously been named the world’s most marketable athlete, to claim the title in 2017. This has been ascribed to both his boxing prowess and his “rags to riches” tale, supporting the idea that he escaped a life of crime and violence by devoting himself to boxing. In an interview with GQ, Anthony Joshua stated, “When I first started, the goal was to become a multi-millionaire. Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s reported career earnings are $700 million.
However, due to rising real estate values, there are now common individuals, such as grandmothers and grandfathers, who are worth millions. The new school of thought holds that I must be worth a billion dollars. Being a millionaire is great, but you should aim greater.
Anthony Joshua has also received recognition for being one of the 100 most important Black Britons by being listed in the annual Powerlist, most recently in the 2021 edition. He claims he feels a strong connection to his Nigerian roots and has a tattoo of the African continent with the outline of Nigeria on his right shoulder.
Anthony Joshua was questioned in August 2022 about the controversy surrounding the location of his world-title fight, which took place in Saudi Arabia.
In addition, he was asked about the state of human rights in the Kingdom in light of the Arab authorities’ 34-year-old woman’s 34-year prison term for her use of Twitter. He did claim, however, that people “love the positive side of things” and “don’t focus on anything that is negative.” Anthony Joshua received a letter from Yasser al-Khayat, whose brother Mustafa was put to death by Saudi officials, pleading with him to defend human rights. Speaking up could really help, he wrote to Joshua, as Saudi exploits sporting events like boxing “to distract from its oppression.”
In November 2017, Anthony Joshua received criticism for a number of events.
On Instagram, he referred to heavyweight boxer Eddie Chambers as a “disgrace to the superior black race.” Eddie Hearn, Anthony Joshua’s promoter, claimed the message was sent from a fake account, but Chambers was able to show that it had actually been sent from Joshua’s verified account, disproving Hearn’s fraudulent claim.
Later, Anthony Joshua looked to support Robert Mugabe, the dictator of Zimbabwe, on Snapchat. Joshua “has a major problem with his social media accounts,” Hearn later claimed, speculating that the accounts may have been hacked.
Joshua was charged with racism in June 2020 after he made the following remarks during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Watford: “Show them where it hurts, abstain from spending your money in their shops and economies, and invest in black-owned businesses.” Some saw this as a call to stop doing commerce with white people. He replied that he had only read the statement aloud on behalf of a friend and that it was not his own. In addition, he added, “Go f*** yourself if you think I’m a racist.”
Joshua has stated his interest in reading and chess as a means to improve his boxing and tactical skills. He worked as a bricklayer before dedicating himself to fighting.
Joshua was held in Reading Prison on remand in 2009 for what he calls “fighting and other crazy stuff.” When he was finally released, he was forced to wear an electronic tag on his ankle.
In Colindale, North London, in March 2011, Joshua was stopped by the cops for speeding. He was discovered in his Mercedes-Benz with eight ounces (226.8 grams) of herbal cannabis concealed in a sports backpack. He was accused of possessing a class B drug with the intent to distribute it, a crime that brings a maximum 14-year sentence. Anthony Joshua entered a guilty plea at county court and was given a 12-month community order, 100 hours of unpaid work, and a suspension from the GB Boxing team.
Anthony Joshua previously claimed in 2012 that he does not support any football teams, but when questioned about this in an interview in 2017, he responded that while he does support his hometown team Watford F.C., his “overall favorite” team was Real Madrid C.F. because of Cristiano Ronaldo, who at the time was a player for Real Madrid. He also referred to English footballer Troy Deeney, whom he randomly met at a neighborhood barbershop in Watford, as his “good friend” in the same interview.
Anthony Joshua listed Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis, and Evander Holyfield as his best five heavyweight boxers of all time in a July 2014 interview with iFL TV.
Joseph “JJ” Joshua was born to Anthony Joshua and dance instructor Nicole Osbourne in 2015.
Anthony Joshua acknowledged in 2020 that he and Eddie Hearn, who has promoted him since making his professional debut in 2013, have a good working rapport and “will always have a great friendship.”