Anthony Joshua

Watford, UK

Birthday
October 15, 1989

Age
31

Height
6ft 6ins

Reach
82ins

Division
Heavyweight

Stance
Orthodox

Record
24-1 (22)

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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.

Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko uppercut
Joshua’s perfect uppercut in Round 11 against Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April 2017 provided a highlight-reel moment.

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 is now all set for he 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.

Joshua’s professional record currently stands at 24-1 with 22 of his victories coming inside distance. His one loss came against Ruiz Jr while the only two men to take him the distance are Joseph Parker, and Ruiz Jr in their second fight.

Anthony Joshua next fight

Anthony Joshua’s next fight will be against Tyson Fury – the biggest in British boxing history.

Eddie Hearn announced on March 15 that the two men have signed a two-fight deal. It is expected their first meeting will be in June or July 2021, with the immediate rematch in November or December.

The British world heavyweight champions will likely clash for the first time outside the UK due to current COVID-19 restrictions – probably in the Middle East. The host territory will pay a huge site fee.

With the bout expected to smash domestic box-office records, the purses for Fury vs Joshua will be a record for British fighters. Both men are expected to take home around $100million for their first fight alone. They are expected to sign a two-fight deal in February with an immediate rematch clause.

Fury and Joshua will share revenues for the first fight, with the winner taking a 60-40 upside for the rematch.

When we look at the odds, Joshua is the underdog, at around the 11/8 mark. It will be the first time he has stepped into the ring as a professional and not been the favourite.

There had been a fear that the path to an immediate Fury vs Joshua matchup would be blocked by WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. The former cruiserweight appeared set to assert his right to face Joshua next.

But now it appears that blocker has been removed, with negotiations apparently ongoing for Usyk to meet the WBO’s #2 ranked contender Joe Joyce for the interim title. The winner would then eventually face whoever emerges from Fury vs Joshua with the titles.

Fury vs Joshua should result in the first undisputed world heavyweight champions since Britain’s Lennox Lewis back in 1999.  The pair hold all of the major belts right now – Joshua is the IBF, WBA and WBO champion while Fury owns the WBC title.

Anthony Joshua fight time

If Fury vs Joshua takes place in the Middle East, it is still likely to be positive at least for UK TV viewers. Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum has already said he expects the bout to take place primetime Saturday night in the UK.

This would be early evening in the United States, the other major TV market for boxing. Expect ring walks to take place around 2300 BST (1800 ET and 1500 PT).

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.

A fight against Fury would of course have to feature on Sky Sports due to AJ’s exclusive deal with the broadcaster. Fury meanwhile has a matching rights deal with BT Sport, so it is likely Sky would share the rights with the BT Sport Box Office platform.

There is a similar scenario to be expected in the United States. Fury has a five-fight deal with ESPN reportedly worth £80million. So the bout would air on that network – though there is no confirmation on whether it would be pay-per-view on ESPN+. Joshua meanwhile has a matching rights deal with DAZN Stateside, so a shared production appears possible again.

The cost of the Fury vs Joshua pay-per-view has not yet been confirmed, though some reports suggest it could be as high as £49.95. These are now though unconfirmed.

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

Anthony Joshua vs Pulev

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.

Anthony Joshua vs Ruiz

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.

Anthony Joshua v Ruiz 2

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.

Joshua’s net worth of course is set to soar with the two expected fights against Fury. The first alone is 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.