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MEET BRICKLAYER TURNED WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, ANTHONY JOSHUA

Anthony Joshua, MBE (born 15 October 1989) is a British professional boxer. He is currently world heavyweight champion, having held the IBF title since 2016, and the WBA (Super) and IBO titles since April 2017. He previously held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles from 2015 to 2016. As an amateur he represented Britain at the 2012 Olympics, winning a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division; he also represented England at the 2011 World Championships, winning silver.

As of April 2017, Joshua is ranked as the world's best heavyweight by Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, second by the BoxRec, and fifth best by The Ring magazine. He also boasts a 100% knockout-to-win ratio. Joshua is the second British boxer, after James DeGale, to win both a gold medal at the Olympics and a world title by a major professional sanctioning body, as well as being the first British heavyweight to do so. He is also the second boxer, after Joe Frazier, to win a world heavyweight title whilst still reigning as Olympic champion at the top weight.

Joshua was born in Watford to a Nigerian mother and a British father of Nigerian and Irish descent. His cousin is fellow unbeaten professional boxer Ben lleyemi. The pair made their professional debuts together in 2013.

Joshua grew up for some of his early years in Nigeria and returned to the UK halfway through Year Seven to join Kings Langley Secondary School. Growing up on the Meriden Estate in Garston, Hertfordshire, Joshua was called 'Femi' by his friends and former teachers, due to his middle name 'Oluwafemi'. He excelled at football and athletics and broke the Year Nine 100m record with a time of 11.6 seconds.

On 11 July 2013 it was confirmed that Joshua had turned professional under the Matchroom Sport promotional banner. Joshua made his professional debut on 5 October 2013 at the O2 Arena in London in the Main-Event of a card featuring Scott Quigg's successful WBA super-bantam weight title defence against Yoandris Salinas, beating Italian Emanuelue Leo by a TKO in the first round.

Joshua's second professional fight was against English Heavyweight Paul Butlin at the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield on 26 October 2013. The bout was stopped in the 2nd round when the referee decided Butlin was taking too much punishment and declared Joshua the winner by TKO.

Joshua's third professional fight was on the Prize fighter Series card against Croatian Hrvoje Kisciek on 14 November 2013. Joshua got a TKO victory in the second round, achieving his third knockout victory in a row.

In February 2014, Joshua scored a 2nd round TKO victory over Dorian Darch to take his record to 4-0. The following month, on the undercard of Ricky Burns against Terence Crawford, Joshua defeated Hector Alfredo Avila with a 1st-round KO, in Glasgow, Scotland. In May that year Joshua knocked out Matt Legg in one round on the undercard of Carl Froch against George Groves in Wembley Stadium. In Joshua's seventh professional fight, on 12 July 2014, in the Echo Arena, Liverpool, he defeated Englishman Matt Skelton via 2nd round stoppage.

In Anthony Joshua's eighth professional fight, on 13 September 2014, against German Heavyweight Konstantin Airich, Joshua took his undefeated record to 8-0 with a 3rd round stoppage victory, in the Manchester Arena.

Joshua was in the Main-Event of a Matchroom Sport card for the second time in his career, in his 9th professional appearance for the vacant WBC International Heavyweight Title against former champion looking to win the title for a second time Denis Bakhtov on 11 October 2014 at The O2 Arena in London. Joshua won the fight by knockout in the second round taking his record to 9-0 and then winning the WBC International Heavyweight Title aged just 24.

In his 10th professional bout, Joshua defeated Michael Sprott within the 1st round to extend his record to 10 wins all by stoppage. Going into this bout as he had 9 bouts all not lasting longer than 3 rounds his total career ring time was just 35 minutes and 10 seconds and after the bout it was just 36 minutes and 36 seconds in 10 bouts as a result of the bout lasting only 1 minute and 26 seconds. He was supposed to face American boxer Kevin Johnson on 31 January 2015 at The O2 Arena in London, but the bout was cancelled after Joshua sustained a back injury.
On 4 April 2015, Joshua beat Jason Gavern as he collected a third-round knockout in his return to the ring in Newcastle. On 9 May 2015, in his 12th professional bout, Joshua defeated Raphael Zumbano Love in a second-round knockout in Birmingham.

On 30 May 2015, Joshua defeated Kevin Johnson inflicting the first stoppage in Johnson's career. After Johnson was saved by the bell in the first round the fight was stopped by the referee shortly after the beginning of the second round.


Joshua has expressed an interest in chess as well as reading as a way to reinforce his boxing and tactical abilities. He was a bricklayer before taking up boxing full-time.

In 2009, Joshua was put on remand in Reading Prison for what he describes as "fighting and other crazy stuff". He was made to wear an electronic tag on his ankle when released.

In March 2011, Joshua was pulled over by the police for speeding in Colindale, North London. He was found with 8ozs of herbal cannabis hidden in a sports bag in his Mercedes-Benz. He was charged with possession with intent to supply a class B drug, an offence that carries a maximum 14-year sentence. Joshua was suspended from GB boxing squad and was sentenced to a 12-month community order and 100 hours’ unpaid work after pleading guilty at crown court.

In November 2016, Joshua announced he would be investing in a members only fitness gym, BXR. Joshua teamed up with the founders of BXR and put together a number of sports therapists, boxers, boxing coaches and MMA fighters. The gym is set to open in January 2017 on Chiltern Street in Marylebone, London.

Joshua has said that he doesn't follow any particular religion, but is interested in religion in general. In January 2017, he posted a photo of himself praying at a mosque in Dubai; the image generated significant anti-Muslim backlash against him on social media.


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