It may be hard to believe but just 10 years ago, no one expected the young Anthony Joshua to make it as an athlete, let alone a boxer. His troubles kept him distracted and all that talent and physical prowess were going to waste.
We are proud to say that this former member of the RDX family turned everything around and became the most explosive heavyweight boxer in the world today.
Boxing turned out to be a lifesaver for Joshua, may sound like a cliché but it’s true.
Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua was born to Yeta and Robert in Watford, UK. Physically gifted even at a young age, Joshua excelled in athletics at school. Football and sprinting were his particular favorites.
He broke a 100m school record by running it in 11.6 seconds.
Anthony Joshua the Boxer
It was Joshua’s cousin, Ben Iliyemi, was the one who introduced him to boxing at age 18.
He soon proved his mettle in the domestic boxing in England, a feat that earned him a place in the national team.
In 2013, Joshua took part in his first professional boxing bout. He defeated the Italian Emanuelue Leo in the first round by a TKO.
He went on to win his next 7 fights via Kos taking his record to 8-0. In his ninth professional fight, AJ was already awarded his first title shot.
Anthony Joshua the Champ
On 11 Oct 2014, at the O2 Arena in London, Joshua would get his first shot at a heavyweight title. He faced Denis Bakhtov for the vacant WBC heavyweight championship.
He won the fight in the 2nd round and became a world champion at the age of 24.
His next big challenge came in the form of Gary Cornish.
The bout took place on Sep of 2015, for the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title. Joshua solved Cornish in just 90 seconds and won the title.
People kept doubting him and he kept proving them all wrong. As he progressed he defeated the likes of Kevin Johnson, Dillian Whyte, Eric Molina, Charles Martin, and other great heavyweights of our time.
And he didn’t just beat them, he decimated them!
The biggest fight of AJ’s career came against Wladimir Klitschko. The two met in a record-breaking fight on 29 April 2017.
The fight would give AJ the WBA ‘Super’ title.
Joshua vs Klitschko almost went the distance but AJ was just too much to handle. It was stopped in the 11th round when Joshua went at Klitschko in full force and the referee had to step in.
It was rumored that Joshua’s next fight would take place later in 2017 and that it would be a rematch against Klitschko.
But the Ukrainian boxer announced his retirement which took him out of the running as a possible opponent for Joshua. While age-long dominance in a sport that is making way for a younger, hungrier crop retired the legendary Klitschko, one could even argue it was AJ himself that made him.
The next man up was Kubrat Pulev. Joshua vs Pulev was set for Oct 28th at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Kubrat Pulev, however, suffered an injury and had to pull out of the matchup. This meant that Anthony Joshua would now face the next man down the list of opponents.
The next man is Carlos Takam of France (though he was born in Cameroon). He is a whole different kind of challenge for Joshua.
He was preparing to face a different type of fighter who uses range and straight punches and now he has must adapt to a completely different strategy against a fighter who loves fighting in the phone booth.
Body shots and coffee mug hooks all day.
This may very well be AJ’s toughest challenge – not in the way of the toughest fighter, but in the way of preparation.
From rough beginnings to being at the top of the boxing world. It has certainly been an interesting journey for AJ.
The fighter loved by all, maybe not so much by his opponent, will certainly rise to the challenge he faces on Oct 28. He has his 19-0 legacy on the line, not to mention the 100% KO rate.
With all that he cannot afford to fail, and come Oct 28, he will bring all his experience and explosiveness to the ring. Will AJ remain the King of the Heavyweights? Or will Takam send shockwaves throughout the boxing world?