Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will once again return to Wembley Stadium in 2019 for his World Title Unification. Although his opponent is not yet confirmed it is set to be a highly anticipated fight night. Held at iconic Wembley Stadium it is set to be a sell-out event. In 2017, AJ broke post-war records when he attracted an audience of 90,000 to his fight against Klitschko.
Ahead of the fight night in April let’s discover more about the life of the champion boxer and celebrate his vast list of successes.
Born Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua the heavyweight champion began life in Watford, Hertfordshire in UK and was born on 15th October 1989. The star had always been interested in sport and even broke records at his secondary school; Kings Langley Secondary School. Joshua excelled at football and athletics, and in year nine broke his schools 100m record. An impressive sportsman from early on.
Anthony Joshua’s amateur career began at the age of 18, typically a late age for amateur boxers. His initial domestic success took place at his home club Finchley ABC, located in Barnett. By 2010 Joshua had already won the Haringey Box Cup and the senior ABA championships. Those successes led him to gain a place of the GB boxing team. The same year he became British Amateur Champion after successful beating Amin Isa. Following that his amateur career went from strength to strength. He was dubbed Amateur Boxer of the Year and his record stood at 40-3.
World Amateur Boxing Championships – 2011
Recognition for the newcomer begun in 2011 at the World Amateur Boxing Championships. The rising star made waves when he beat World & Olympic Champion Roberto Cammarelle. The victories didn’t stop there as a semi-final win saw Joshua beat Erik Pfeifer of Germany before making his way to take on local champion Magomedrasul Majidov. Although, AJ lost this fight by one point he had already done enough to secure his place in the 2018 London Olympics.
London Summer Olympics – 2012
AJ started as a newbie to the International scene during the 2012 London Olympics. A dramatic four fights saw Joshua eventually finish with the Olympic Gold Medal. It was a dramatic victory in the final fight against Roberto Cammarelle; the reigning sup heavy-weight champion. The fight was very intense as AJ conceded the first two rounds against the Italian Champion. However, in the third round he grew in strength and confidence and defeated Cammarelle due to countback at +18-18.The outcome faced major criticism and it was argued that the referee voted favourably towards the home champion. However, despite the complaints did not take away his deserved win.
Following his Olympic triumph Joshua was awarded an MBE in 2013 for his services to boxing.
Beginning his professional boxing career in 2013, AJ made his first professional appearance in October at 02 Arena, London. His opponent at the time was Emanuele Leo an Italian boxer who had been undefeated in his previous 8 fights. Joshua made history that day with an impressive 166 second defeat over the Emanuele Leo. A combination of powerful hooks and strikes left the former champion unable to defend himself. He most certainly felt the “wrath” of AJ that night and five years later has not returned to ring following the poor defeat. This was just the first of many successful wins for the now heavyweight champion.
Joshua now holds WBA, IBF AND WBO titles and has endured major triumphs throughout his career gaining him major respect worldwide. An excellent victory for the Watford born star.
Ahead of the 2019 unification we take a look at his previous wins as the anticipation and excitement continue to build.
AJ vs Povetkin – September 2018
The unified world heavyweight champion held on to his belts with a brutal seventh-round stoppage of the Russian in front of around 80,000 fans, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Live in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium defeated Alexander Povetkin in a brutal seven round fight. This was Joshua’s first appearance since his 2016 defeat against Wladimir Klitschko and it was certainly a fight worth waiting for. AJ gave the fans what they wanted, a nail-biting, intense fight that was hugely electric. Following the fight AJ spoke how Povetkin was a strong challenger with powerful left hooks. However, the champion quickly spotted areas of weakness and targeted those which helped him secure the win.
The fight night was so extra-ordinary it had people discussing whether this victory was greater than that against Klitschko. Carl Froch spoke of how much more dangerous Povetkin was and recognised that AJ had to endure powerful attacks against him.
This fight further contributed to AJ’s impressive record once again cementing his place in history as the heavyweight champion.
AJ vs Klitschko – 2016
How could we not discuss the fight of the century? After an intense 11 rounds AJ was crowned champion by technical knockout in front of a 90,000 people crowd at Wembley Stadium. The dramatic fight certainly brought ut the best in AJ who managed to stay on a gruelling 11 rounds despite a heavy blow in the sixth round. The anticipation for the fight was truly extra-ordinary everyone wanted to see if the British star could take on the former unified heavyweight champion. The build-up was intense with a massive 80,000 tickets selling out quickly breaking box office records which called for the need for more tickets. A 90,000 person crowd was cleared making it the biggest crowd for a heavyweight fight in 90 years.
Following the fight, Klitschko went on to retire from boxing a few months later.
There’s no doubt that AJ’s short career has made exceptional history. He is an undefeated champion that continues to shock audiences with his natural born talent. We can’t wait to see what the fight on the 13th of April 2019 holds.