Anthony Joshua Profile
|Born||Oct 15, 1989|
|Professional Record||24-2 (22)|
From Olympic glory to becoming a two-time heavyweight world champion, the road to undisputed continues for AJ in 2021 with Tyson Fury standing in his way.
Anthony Joshua is a former two-time unified heavyweight champion of the world who held WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world titles before losing to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021.
"AJ" reigned initially as heavyweight champion between 2016 to June 2019 before he was memorably stopped by Ruiz Jr in New York in one of the biggest boxing shocks of the decade.
However, the Watford man bounced back from the Madison Square Garden defeat, the first of his professional career, to put on a boxing clinic against the same opponent in Saudi Arabia at the end of 2019.
He has made one defence since, defeating Kubrat Pulev inside nine rounds in December 2020, his only fight of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, his reign was short-lived as Usyk, the WBO mandatory challenger, outpointed Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September 2021.
His standout victory is a TKO win over the legendary Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in front of a post-war record attendance of 90,000. Joshua climbed off the canvas in round five to deliver a stunning finish in round 11 to add the WBA crown to his IBF strap.
The hellacious battle is regarded as the most exciting heavyweight fight of the 21st Century. Joshua also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and won gold in the super heavyweight category.
Defeat to Oleksandr Usyk
Anthony Joshua's reign as world heavyweight champion was ended and a 'Battle of Britain' against Tyson Fury is in tatters after Oleksandr Usyk claimed a stunning unanimous decision win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Usyk was giving up three inches in height and another one in reach, as well as nearly 20lbs in weight, but the former undisputed world cruiserweight champion's technical acumen came to the fore in an electric atmosphere.
Joshua finished the bout slumped against the ropes as his smaller foe looked for a dramatic finish and, while it was not forthcoming, Usyk claimed the WBA, IBF and WBO titles after he was given the nod by all three judges.
Scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 were just reward after a near-masterclass from the unbeaten Usyk, who became only the third fighter after Evander Holyfield and David Haye to win world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight.
Anthony Joshua triggered his rematch clause with heavyweight rival Usyk, his promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed on October 9, 2021.
The Ukrainian's team had already indicated a rematch clause had been activated in principle.
"He (Joshua) has got his head back in the game, he is training now and today we officially triggered the rematch for the Oleksandr Usyk fight which we will see early next spring," Hearn said on DAZN.
"Back in the game and looking for him to become a three-time heavyweight world champion.
"That is officially triggered now and we will sit down with (Usyk's promoters) K2 to plan the dates for that.
"I think realistically March is when you're likely to see the rematch."
Ruiz Jr. vs Joshua 2
History was against Joshua winning back his belts with only three deposed former world heavyweight champions ever winning back their belts in an immediate rematch.
Ruiz Jr, who entered the ring in poor physical condition at 283-pounds, had no answers to Joshua's mobility and ring intelligence. The bout was not a classic by any means but in a defining night for the Englishman, the judges awarded him the contest by scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109.
However, Joshua joined Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis on that exclusive list after executing the perfect game plan in Diriyah. Those who presumed Joshua would engage in another firefight with his Mexican-American foe left stunned as Joshua boxed from the outside and used lateral movement to peck and poke his way to a decisive win on the cards.
The greatest hits: Ruiz, Klitschko and Whyte
The Klitschko win is arguably Joshua's best and most high profile, but he has enjoyed other thrilling wins in compiling a 24-1 (21) record after turning over in October 2013. "AJ" came through his first real test in 2015 as he knocked out arch-rival Dillian Whyte in the seventh round to win the famous Lonsdale title.
Going into the domestic grudge match, Joshua had won all 14 of his previous bouts inside the first three rounds.
Whyte, who had beaten Joshua on the amateur circuit, had different ideas and gave Joshua his first tough fight before he was starched in the seventh, dangling on the ropes at the mercy of Howard Foster.
The Doncaster referee halted proceedings at a raucous O2 Arena in London.
His next fight saw him destroy Charles Martin inside two rounds to become IBF heavyweight champion. Solid wins over Dominic Breazeale, Eric Molina, Klitschko and Carlos Takam followed, before Joshua took care of business against New Zealand's first heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin in 2018.
In June 2019 Joshua suffered what is considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the fight game when he was stopped on his feet against huge betting underdog Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony Joshua's weight
Joshua's weight has fluctuated in each fight but during his most recent bout against Ruiz in 2019, Joshua - under the guidance of Rob McCracken - hit the scales at his lightest weight since 2014 by coming in at 237-pounds (10 lighter than his first bout with Ruiz).
The decision proved to be a masterstroke with Joshua reclaiming three of the four major world titles. The Briton was also at his lightest weight for a world title fight.
McCracken hinted afterwards he would like his man to stay around this weight for his next title defence, with Joshua showing another dimension to his game with his jab and movement around the ring.
It proved to be right with Joshua weighing four pounds lighter prior to knocking Pulev out.
Perfect partnership: The rise to glory
Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn wore the most dazzling smile in Diriyah after Joshua's latest win, with victory putting them back at the top of the heavyweight food chain once again.
Hearn rolled the dice by agreeing for his man to go straight back in with Ruiz Jr, and a defeat would have been a commercial catastrophe.
The risk paid off handsomely with Joshua delivering the biggest numbers of the year for streaming service DAZN, who had the Ruiz-Joshua 2 rights in nine territories, including America and Canada.
Following his Olympic success in 2012, Hearn beat the likes of Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions in securing the services of Joshua and it is safe to say it has been a huge success for both parties.
How to watch Anthony Joshua
Joshua has been on Sky Sports for the majority of his career and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK & Ireland since 2015.
His deal with Sky expired following his defeat to Usyk and he is now a free agent. DAZN and Sky are the two front-runners to have Joshua's rematch against Usyk while DAZN will distribute his next bout all over the world, including the United States, Canada and Europe.
Four of his fights (Klitschko, Povetkin, Parker and Ruiz) are in the top 10 for all time buys in the UK.
Anthony Joshua's net worth
In 2018 Joshua left American network Showtime to join DAZN alongside Hearn as a part of an eight-year, $1billion deal between Matchroom Sports and the OTT streaming service company.
According to Forbes, Joshua profited between $60-85million for his win over Ruiz in their rematch.
Outside of the ring, the Londoner has lucrative sponsorship deals with Hugo Boss, Under Armour, Beats and Lucozade Sport.
Joshua's Nigerian heritage comes from his mother Yeta Odusanya and father Robert Joshua, who lived in the West African country before moving to the English capital to provide better living conditions for their family. Joshua has three siblings in his two sisters Janet and Loretta and brother Jacob.
The heavyweight champion also has a son, JJ (Joseph Bayley Temiloluwa Prince Joshua) but is no longer in a relationship with the mother, Nicole Osbourne. It is believed she is a yoga instructor and a pole dancing teacher.
Avoiding jail to Olympic glory
A late starter to the sport, Joshua first laced up a pair of gloves in 2007. He was 18 when he joined Finchley ABC in Barnet, the same boxing club as fellow heavyweight and friend Derek Chisora.
His rise was meteoric and in 2011 he exceeded expectations at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Baku by winning a silver medal.
He beat the then-reigning World and Olympic super-heavyweight champion Roberto Cammarelle in the Azerbaijan tournament but lost in the final by a solitary point to home hope Magomedrasul Majidov.
After avoiding a jail sentence for a drugs conviction, Team GB reinstated Joshua into the set-up and their perseverance and trust in him was paid back by the Briton, who reached the pinnacle of the amateur code by winning gold at the 2012 Games.
Joshua overcame Italian Cammarelle via countback in a thrilling finale in London. In doing so, he became the first Briton since Audley Harrison to win gold at super heavyweight.
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