It’s a beautiful Monday and our Mondays are definitely for the men, today we shine the spotlight on a man who is doing well for himself and not just that, a man whose story is full of perseverance and self- development.
The lovers of professional boxers and a lot of Nigerians will definitely know this young man and the fact that he has a Nigerian background has gotten a lot of people interested in him, he is Anthony Joshua popularly called AJ. Anthony Joshua is a professional boxer and a world champion in heavy weight category.
Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua was born on the 15th of October 1989, he was born in Watford (Hertfordshire, England). He had Nigerian roots: his mother, Yeta Odusanya, is Nigerian, and his father Robert Joshua is of Nigerian and Irish descent, he spent his early years in Ijebu-ode, and it was also proved that he spent six months at MayFlower secondary school. He moved back to the UK together with his family to join the Kings Langley secondary school. He grew in Garston, Hertfordshire, and was a sports-loving kid. He was excellent in football. Apart from that, in his ninth year, he broke the school record in athletics when he ran 100m in 11.6 seconds.
He ventured into boxing out of boredom as he was only looking to becoming a builder though he was bricklayer at that time before his cousin, Ben Ileyemi, who is a fellow unbeaten professional boxer dragged him to Finchley Amateur Boxing Club back in 2007.
Anthony Joshua proceeded to win Haringey Box Cup in two consecutive years – 2009 and 2010. In 2010, he also became a winner of ABA Championship for seniors. He was offered huge money to move on to the professional boxing – £50,000. But he refused, explaining his decision with the wish to win medals and succeed in sports. He said that he did not take up sports just for money. In 2010, he became a boxer on Great Britain’s national team, and later he proceeded to become a champion of Amateur Boxing championship, after defeating his opponent, Amin Isa. Next year at the same tournament he managed to beat some dangerous opponents but was defeated by Mihai Nistor from Romania. Nevertheless, Anthony Joshua set the amateur record of 40-3, which was absolutely impressive.
In 2011, he was caught by police for speeding and turned out that he brought herbal cannabis in his sports bag. For that, he was suspended from Great Britain’s boxing team and sentenced to community service for one year. After a lot of hard work, Anthony Joshua managed to become a participant of Summer Olympic Games in 2012, which took place in London. Despite winning the silver medal at the world championship, he was considered as a beginner on the international boxing scene.
He survived three difficult rounds in his opening boxing match, and he got the result 17:16. Many sports experts found this decision of the judge controversial, because his opponent, Erislandy Savon, was stronger. But Anthony still went on to the next round, where he had to fight Zhang Zhilei, the silver medalist of 2008 Olympic Games. He won by 15:11, which guaranteed him at least a bronze medal of the Games. His next opponent was a boxer from Kazakhstan, Ivan Dychko. Despite being shorter, Joshua still won by 13:11 and earned a place in the final match of Olympics. In the final, he had to fight against Roberto Cammarelle from Italy, who was a current Olympic champion and a former world champion. However, this did not scare Anthony Joshua. While he conceded in two first rounds, he managed to level the score in the third one and was announced the new Olympic champion by a professional jury. Many boxing experts criticized this decision, saying that he was announced a winner not because he was stronger, but because the Olympic Games took place in Great Britain. Despite everything, Anthony Joshua was still treated as a national hero. In 2013, he even was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his huge contribution to British boxing.
In the same year, Joshua announced that he is going to move on to the professional sport. His professional debut was made on the 5th of October, 2013, at the O2 Arena in London. He fought against the Italian boxer Emanuelue Leo and defeated him. Since then, he had a lot of fights, and all of them were successful. He had 20 professional fights, and in all of them, he won by knockout, which means Anthony Joshua is a real threat to every professional boxer. In 2017, he defeated the famous Wladimir Klitschko by knockout. Anthony Joshua is ranked as the best heavyweight boxer in the world by some influential sources like BoxRec and Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. He is the second British boxer to win both Olympic gold medal and a title of world champion. Except that, he is a second boxer in the world who has won a world heavyweight title while he was still a current Olympic champion.
March 31st 2018 he defeated Joseph Parker in Cardiff, to earn the fourth world title.
AJ lives with his mother in a simple flat in North London. He has a son called Joseph Bayley Prince Joshua, who was born on the 6th of October, 2015, at the Watford Hospital. For a long time, the boxer kept the birth of his son in secret. The mother of little Joseph is Nicole Osborne, who was his lover since school. He often finds time for his little son and spends every spare minute with him. He also posts the photos of Joseph on social media, which makes it clear that he cares about his baby boy.
The heavyweight world champion currently holds the WBO, WBA Super, IBF and IBO crowns in the boxing world.
According to Sahara Reports, He was recently awarded a special Order of the British Empire (OBE) By the Queen of England for his service to boxing in the United Kingdom. He was awarded on Friday as part of the 2018 honours of the Queen’s birthday. This is the second special recognition award won by AJ from the UK in the stretch of five years.
Joshua was rewarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE ) in 2013 after claiming a super-heavyweight Olympic gold medal at the London Games in 2012.
We shine the spotlight on Anthony Joshua because he has a story of self-development and hard work and he is an inspiration to a lot of young people, that if put your heart into it, with practice and dedication nothing can stop your shine.
Credit: Naij.com. Google and Wikipedia