Anthony Femi Olaseni Joshua is an English professional boxer of Nigerian descent and currently a two-time unified heavyweight world champion. He is arguably the most famous boxer alive and his success has already put him in the league of boxing legends like Mohammed Ali and Mike Tyson, few had captivated and dominated the heavyweight division of the sport like Joshua.
Here is a quick look at the rise of this boxing superstar and a few facts you should know about Anthony Joshua.
1. Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua was born October 15, 1989, in Watford Hertfordshire England to both Yeta Joshua and Robert Joshua. Joshua lived his childhood life in Nigeria as a student in boarding school. He attended Mayflower School, Ikenne, Ogun State, Nigeria. Subsequent to his parent’s divorce at age 12, young Joshua returned to the UK.
2. Joshua did not start boxing until 2007 when he was just 18. His cousin had actually proposed to Joshua to give it a try of which he did in due course.
3. In the buildup to the 2012 Olympics in London, Jushua was obsessed with representing Nigeria but was turned down by the Nigerian Olympic Committee, he would go on to represent Britain and eventually won a gold medal at that Olympic games.
Joshua’s time in prison
4. Joshua had a rough life as a teenager. In 2009, he spent two weeks on remand in Reading Prison for what he would only say was for “fighting and other crazy stuff.” Joshua faced 10 years in prison. He ended up not spending more time in jail and was sentenced to a year of house arrest instead. Joshua has said the experience was a wake-up call, and he has credited boxing for keeping him on the right path since.
Lost first bout outside the UK
5. Of his 22 fights before his 2019 fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden, Joshua had never fought outside of the United Kingdom. He lost his first fight outside the UK although he won the subsequent rematch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
6. Joshua’s Nigerian mother, Yeta Odusanya, has not been at any of her son’s bouts since he lost the final of the 2011 World Amateur Championships to Magomedrasul Majidov as an amateur boxer.
A game of chess
7. The board game is one that tests the brain. It’s all about strategy and forces you to think ahead and not just what’s in front of you. A couple of years ago, Joshua was introduced to chess by former undisputed heavyweight champion and fellow Englishman Lennox Lewis.
“Chess, it’s the same type of thing in the ring, like taking one of your opponent’s pieces and then counter-attacking,” Joshua told Stubhub.co.UK in 2018. “You need to be two moves ahead all the time.”
Anthony Joshua used to be a bricklayer
8. Before he put on the gloves full time, Joshua worked at a series of construction sites during his amateur career, where he was a bricklayer. Joshua said if boxing didn’t work out, he would lay bricks for a living.
9. Joshua said he doesn’t identify neither as Christian, Muslim nor faithful of any other religion, but is “interested in religion in general.”