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 of points.
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.
As WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight champion AJ may yet have mandatory obligations to tidy up, but the fight that threatens to forever knock us off our perches, against Tyson Fury, is the one that will define the respective careers of both pugilists.
Anthony Joshua next fight
After successfuly disposing of Kubrat Pulev in his latest world title defence on December 12, 2020, there are two clear options for Anthony Joshua’s next fight.
- He mades another mandatory defence against the WBO’s #1 ranked fighter, Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk (18-0).
- He goes into an enormous unification match against fellow British world champion Tyson Fury.
The Fury fight would be the biggest in British boxing history – and the pair have already agreed in principle the financial structure of a two-fight deal. It would be a 50-50 revenue split in the first bout. The winner would then take a 60-40 share for the rematch.
So financially there is no doubt which option all parties would prefer. The WBO though has stated that Usyk must get his shot at the title now. That is likely to leave Joshua with a very difficult decision to make. Does he vacate the WBO title to meet Fury, knowing it would ruin his dream of becoming the undisputed champion? Or does he defend against Usyk and risk a defeat which would be disastrous for any Fury fight?
There are of course other hybrid solutions. Usyk might be persuaded to accept step-aside money to allow Joshua to meet Fury (this seems unlikely based on his past statements). Meanwhile AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn has mooted the possibility for AJ and Fury to meet with all the belts on the line, and the winner to then vacate the day after.
It is likely there will be further political wrangling before this is all settled and we can confirm who Joshua will fight next.
Anthony Joshua fight time
Whether Joshua meets Usyk or Fury next it is likely the bout would take place in the UK or the Middle East. The two factors in play are COVID-19, and the site fee. If there is no significant live gate possible in the UK and a territory like Saudi Arabia comes up with a huge offer, then it is likely the fight would happen outside the UK.
In both cases the start time would suit a primetime Saturday night audience in the UK. Ringwalks for London bouts are normally between 2200 and 2300 UK time. If the bout is in the Middle East, it is possible ring walks would be a little earlier in the evening.
Anthony Joshua fight on TV: how to watch
Joshua is a huge draw for TV networks, and his rematch victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019 reportedly generated a record 1.6million buys for Sky Sports Box Office (at £24.95 a time) in the UK. It also reportedly pulled in 200,000 new subscribers for global streaming platform DAZN.
AJ has an exclusive contract with Sky in the UK so a bout with either Usyk or Fury would air on pay-per-view on the Sky Sports Box Office platform. However if the opponent is Fury then it is likely there would be a joint PPV with Fury’s broadcaster BT Sport also screening the bout.
Joshua meanwhile has a matching rights deal with DAZN in the United States. The platform sprang to prominence in 2018 when it inked a landmark $1billion eight-year deal with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
DAZN also rolled out its platform in more than 200 territories in December 2020, and it is likely any Usyk fight would appear on DAZN in the United States and farther afield.
If Fury is the opponent however again the waters are a little muddier as he has a huge contract with ESPN (reportedly £80million for five fights). Again it is possible there could be a joint production in the U.S with both ESPN and DAZN having rights.
Anthony Joshua weight
Joshua has been noticably trim for his two fights – the rematch win over Ruiz Jr in 2019 and the demolition of Pulev in December 2020.
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.
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 Eddie Hearn. Hearn 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.
Anthony Joshua recent fights
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 £107 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”. His promoters Matchroom Boxing also inked an eye-watering $1 billion deal over eight years with streaming platform DAZN in 2018.
The Sunday Times Rich List of 2020 puts Joshua in at number 2 in it’s Young Sportsmen category with his £107m second only to Real Madrid and Wales footballer Gareth Bale. The respected paper says Joshua more than doubled his wealth in the last year (up from £49m in 2019) – largely by earning a staggering £60million before tax and deductions for the Ruiz Jr rematch.
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.
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.