Anthony Joshua Profile
The journey to the top has been as swift as it has spectacular for Anthony Joshua. The two-time world heavyweight champion grew up in Watford but moved to the capital when he was 17. A year later he was introduced to the ‘noble art’ by a cousin, who took him along to Finchley ABC to start training. The rest, as they say, is history. The big Londoner with the cheerful character and imposing physique first came to worldwide prominence at the 2012 London Olympics, his smile lighting up the event as he claimed gold in the super-heavyweight division. He turned pro with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom soon after and enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks. He won the British title after just 14 fights, knocking out old amateur rival Dillian Whyte in a classic, and then won the IBF world heavyweight title in April 2016 with a crushing KO win in two (while barely breaking sweat) against American Charles Martin.
On an unforgettable night in 2017 he won an absolute war against Wladimir Klitschko, surviving a knockdown against ‘Dr Steelhammer’ and several rocky moments before pulling the fight out of the fire in the penultimate round to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion. In 2019 he suffered the biggest heavyweight upset since James ‘Buster’ Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in 1990 when sawn-off Mexican American Andy Ruiz Jr stopped him in seven rounds in front of a disbelieving crowd at Madison Square Garden. However, AJ then showed his cojones and adaptability by beating Ruiz in a rematch six months later in Saudi Arabia. That victory showed another side to his game, as Joshua took a safety-first approach to beat Ruiz from the outside, winning handily on points.
Joshua would lose his titles once again in September 2021 when he was dethroned by the brilliant Ukrainian former cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk. Joshua dropped a unanimous decision at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after Usyk produced a boxing masterclass for the ages.
Joshua is already rich beyond his wildest dreams, with lucrative endorsements deals swelling an already bulging bank balance. Yet it could all have been so different. A 2011 conviction for Possession with intent to supply Class B drugs threatened to derail his career. If he had gone to prison, his Olympic dream would have been over and there’s no way he could have made the same impact as a pro. In the event he was shown mercy by the courts and has never looked back, proudly evolving into one of Britain’s greatest role models.
Joshua’s professional record currently stands at 24-2 with 22 of his victories coming inside distance. His two losses came against Ruiz Jr and Usyk while the only two men to take him the distance are Joseph Parker, Ruiz Jr in their second fight and Usyk.
Anthony Joshua next fight
Joshua’s dreams of that blockbusting unification match with Tyson Fury now lie in tatters following that unanimous decision defeat by Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September 2021.
Joshua and Fury had been due to meet in Saudi Arabia on August 14, 2021, before an American judge ruled that Fury instead must face Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight.
Now there must be doubt as to whether the two will ever meet. For now AJ will likely bid to regain his title swiftly – as he had done following the defeat by Ruiz Jr.
There is a rematch clause and now we wait to see whether it will happen immediately.
Anthony Joshua fight time
If Usyk vs Joshua 2 takes place in the UK, ring walks are likely to take place between 2200 and 2300 UK time (1700 and 1700 Eastern Time in the United States).
Anthony Joshua fight on TV: how to watch
AJ is a huge draw for television networks, but he is now a broadcast free agent in the UK as that defeat by Usyk was the last bout on his current deal with long-term partner Sky Sports Boxing. Now we expect a huge scramble for his services.
DAZN is likely to be right at the front of the queue to sign Joshua – they already stream his bouts outside the UK, including the United States.
Anthony Joshua weight
Joshua has been noticably trim for his recent fights – the rematch win over Ruiz Jr in 2019, the demolition of Pulev in December 2020 and the defeat by Usyk in September 2021.
AJ weighed in at more than 247lbs when he lost to Ruiz at Madison Square Garden in June 2019, but shed 10lbs for their second meeting in Saudi Arabia. He was a tad heavier at 240lbs for the Pulev clash, but again in incredible shape. He was once again 240lbs for the loss to Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The heaviest Joshua has been as a pro is 254lbs (18st 2lbs), which he weighed against Frenchmen Carlos Takam in October 2017.
Anthony Joshua promoter
The one man who was arguably more relieved than the fighter himself when Joshua reclaimed the world heavyweight title belts in Diriyah back in December was promoter Hearn. He is one of the sport’s most colourful characters and his shows have morphed into legitimate world events. Hearn has become something of a pantomime villain among British boxing fans but he accepts it with good grace and works tirelessly to promote his fighters. Joshua is trained by former solid Birmingham pro Robert McCracken. McCracken came in for some stinging criticism after Joshua’s first pro defeat but the fighter stood by his trainer and the pair came up with the perfect game plan to win the belts back from Ruiz and take their place again at boxing’s top table. Joshua will now spend the rest of his professional career promoted by Hearn and Matchroom, after signing a new life-long deal in the days leading up to his London showdown with Usyk in September 2021.
Anthony Joshua recent fights
AJ lost his IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles for a second time when he was dethroned by Usyk in front of more than 67,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Joshua went in knowing that defeat would leave hopes of that Fury clash in tatters, and so it proved as the Ukrainian former cruiserweight king totally outboxed him to claim a unanimous decision. AJ looked ungainly and struggled to cope with the speed and movement of Usyk, who almost forced a stoppage in the final round as he finished in terrific style.
Joshua, now a two-time world heavyweight champion, successfully defended his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against the 39-year-old Bulgarian at London’s SSE Arena, Wembley on December 12, 2020. AJ produced a convincing performance to put Pulev (now 28-2) down three times, the final knockdown closing the show via a peach of a right hand in the final seconds of Round 9. Before that AJ had dominated proceedings, and had twice sent Pulev to the canvas with uppercuts in the third and the ninth. Pulev had also been forced to take a standing count in the third.
On June 1 in New York City Andy Ruiz Jr turned the heavyweight division upside down with a stoppage victory over AJ that was scarcely believable. Ruiz only got the gig as a late replacement after Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller was denied a license after a positive test for a banned substance. It looked a mismatch on paper. The roly-poly no-hoper against the sculpted Adonis. In the event though the Londoner surrendering his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles at Madison Square Garden – via an improbable, incredible seventh round TKO – proved to be the defining moment of the sport in 2019. The victory for Ruiz completely changed the landscape in the heavyweight division. It set the Californian up for life financially while simultaneously crushing Joshua’s reputation as an unbeatable wrecking machine. We know now there are flaws in his game. Question marks about his punch resistance and stamina and a suspicion he is unable to smother an opponent in close when in trouble, or get the most from his jab against shorter foes.
If their first fight was phenomenal, their return in Saudi Arabia was a strangely tepid, emotionless affair. The audience in the Middle East was much less excitable but it was Joshua’s decision to box from the outside, and Ruiz’s decision not to take training seriously (he had added 15 lbs to his frame since their summer meeting) that proved crucial. Make no mistake, it was a veritable masterclass of safety-first boxing from AJ, demonstrating how to hit and not be hit against a paunchy Mexican American who was unable to rip through his defences like he did so convincingly at MSG six months previously. It wasn’t his most violent or indeed his most thrilling display but it was one of Joshua’s best performances of his career to date, as he cruised to victory following 36 minutes of intense concentration to become just the fourth boxer in history to regain the world heavyweight titles in an immediate rematch.
Anthony Joshua net worth
Joshua’s net worth is now estimated to be a staggering £115 million, and despite losing his ‘0’ he remains one of the most marketable active fighters in the sport. Forbes have described Joshua as “a marketing juggernaut with more than a dozen sponsors, including Under Armour, Jaguar LandRover, Beats, British Airways and Hugo Boss”. He also has a lucrative UK broadcast deal with Sky Sports and his bouts are streamed globally by moneybags platform DAZN.
The Sunday Times Rich List of 2021 estimated that Joshua now has a personal wealth of £115million, up from £107million in 2020. The reason for that slowdown in growth is simple – there was a pandemic and AJ only fought once in the 12 months in front of a small and socially-distanced crowd. Expect that number to rocket again in the next 12 months up to May 2022.
Forbes placed Joshua at number 19 on its list of the Highest-Paid Athletes of 2020 – claiming the British superstar earned a total of $47m (£38m) with a whopping $11m of that (£9m) from those lucrative endorsements with blue-chip brands. Later in 2020 Joshua was listed at number 57 on Forbes Celebrity 100.
Joshua’s net worth of course is set to soar with the two expected fights against Fury if and when they do happen. The first alone had been expected to earn him around $100million.
Anthony Joshua family
“Stay humble” is a phrase used regularly by Joshua but despite his oft heard mantra Big Josh has been romantically linked with a slew of famous females in recent years, including Bella Hadid, Rita Ora, and Geordie Shore’s Chantelle Connelly. He had a 23-man entourage for his New York debut against Ruiz and is known for having a lot of people around him during training camps and on fight nights. Watford star Troy Deeney is a close friend of AJ following a chance meeting in a barber shop several years ago. To underline his popularity Joshua currently has a whopping 11.2 million followers on Instagram.
AJ has a brother and two sisters – Jacob, Loretta and Janet Joshua while father Robert Joshua is arguably his biggest fan. His mother Yeta hails from Nigeria. Joshua lived with his mum even when he was world champion and the pair remain very close. He had a son – JJ – with Nicola Osborne but the pair are no longer together.