Many professional boxers have an interesting story to tell and Britain’s Anthony Joshua is no different.
The talented heavyweight made the final of the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships, only to lose on points to local fighter Magomedrasul Majidov. This defeat came during a period when Joshua was in the middle of a court case for possessing cannabis with intent to supply. Following a ban from boxing, Joshua received a call from GB Boxing to go and fight in the European Championships. Despite a defeat in the quarter-finals, it was this call up that spurred Joshua on to have a professional career.
The silver medal at the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships was quickly followed by a dream gold medal at 2012 London Olympics. A year later and Joshua turned professional and in his first fight, at the O2 Arena, he defeated Emanuelue Leo in the first by by Technical Knockout.
Twelve fights later and current World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko, has called Joshua out as being the future of the heavyweight division.
The latest fight, came against Kevin Johnson at the O2 Arena and Joshua stopped the American in devastating fashion. This is a fighter who has never been stopped in a paid fight and to do so in the second round, was a real statement to the rest of the heavyweight division. To date, Joshua has never been taken beyond the third round in his professional career and although that is a sign of real promise, it could also be a sign that Joshua has yet to be really tested.
Comparisons have already been drawn between Joshua and David Price, who was happy to discuss his future as heavyweight champion of the world, only to be defeated, twice by Tony Thompson. That being said, Joshua has given a number of interviews over the past 12 months and in each of them, he seems modest and knows that the hard work is still to come.
Following Joshua’s excellent stoppage of Johnson, boxing pundit Steve Bunce commented on how excited British fight fans would be getting, if they had been watching the fight in the early hours of the morning from the United States. The look of shock on Johnson’s face, summed up what an emphatic victory it really was.
Latest news has Joshua lining up a fight with American Deontay Wilder, who is the current current WBC heavyweight champion of the world. Wilder is currently undefeated in his professional career, winning 32 of his 33 bouts by knockout. A fight with Wilder would certainly be a big step up for Joshua and one that would see some serious heavy punching.
If Joshua is to become Britain’s next heavyweight champion, it’s boxers like Wilder who will have to be stopped. However, Joshua clearly possesses the punching power to stop his opponents, coupled with the attitude of a humble yet determined winner. The ability is definitely there, the temperament is there and the next test will be stepping in to the ring with a boxer of Wilder’s credentials.
At the age of 25, Joshua has plenty of time to work his way to the top of the world heavyweight division. His professional career to date has been good, in and out of the ring. The next step will be dealing with all the pressure that comes of being Britain’s next boxing hero.