The Inspiring Story of Nigeria’s Boxing Champion, Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua
Written by Robin Okwanma

All in the space of ten years – 2013 to 2023. British world-class boxer of Nigerian origin, Anthony Joshua, has had 25 professional wins out of 28 boxing matches.

He lost only to Alexander Ruiz Jr. once (2019); and then lost twice to Oleksandr Usyk (2021, 2022). Which means he has beaten tough boxing athletes like Wladimir Klitschko (April 2017). His latest win was against Jermaine Franklin – the boxing event was held at the O2 Arena in England in April 2023. 

At the end of October 2022, Anthony Joshua was named:

  • The world’s second-best active heavyweight boxer by BoxRec,
  • Third-best active heavyweight boxer by The Ring
  • Fourth-best active heavyweight boxer by Transnational Boxing Rankings Board as well as Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) of America;
  • Sixth-best active boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec
  • Ranked among the world’s top 10 heavyweights since 2014 by BoxRec; and
  • Ranked No.1 heavyweight boxer (world) at the end of 2016 and 2017.

Anthony held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight boxing titles from 2015 to 2016. He also won the Unified World Heavyweight Championship twice between 2016 and 2021.That includes four world boxing titles:

  • World Boxing Federation (WBO)
  • World Boxing Association: Super
  • International Boxing Federation (IBF), and 
  • International Boxing Organization (IBO).

To crown it all, Anthony Joshua’s net worth as a boxing athlete is an awesome 90 million US Dollars as at 2023. 

Anthony Joshua: His Origins

Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua (born October 1989) was born in Watford, Hertfordshire in England. His parents are of Nigerian origin, both of them from the Yoruba tribe. His father is Irish-Nigerian, while his mother is Nigerian. 

Joshua had lived for a while in Nigeria in his early years. He attended Mayflower Secondary School in Ikenne, Ogun State of Nigeria for six months in 2002. He was about 11 years old then. However, his parents divorced when he was 12 years old. So Joshua and other members of his family were taken to the UK. There, he continued his schooling at Kings Langley Secondary School in Hertfordshire. Anthony was so good in football and athletics in his new school, that he broke the school’s Year 9 100 meters record. He did so in a record time of 11.6 seconds. He was clearly destined for a life in sports; though it did not appear at first to be boxing.  

In his later account, Joshua recalled the indelible mark the six months he spent in Mayflower Secondary School had on him. He stated that he was in the boarding house. And that he received quite a lot of beatings that toughened and disciplined him, in that short period. 

The Rise of Anthony Joshua 

Both he and his cousin, Ben Ileyemi, began their full-time boxing careers in 2013. However, Joshua actually started boxing in 2007, on suggestion by his cousin. He would go on to win the 2009 and 2010 Haringey Box Cup. 

In 2010, Anthony won the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) Championship of England. He was offered 50 thousand British Pounds after the 2010 win, to start professional boxing at that time. But he deemed himself not yet ready, and refused the money. He proceeded to join the Great Britain Boxing Team that same 2010. Anthony became the British Amateur Champion in 2010, defeating Amin Isa at the Great Britain Amateur Boxing Championships. He would proceed to win the ABA Championship of England for the second time in 2011.  

Again in 2011, Anthony won a silver medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championships, in the super-heavyweight division. He went ahead to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, and got a gold medal. He went further to participate in the 2011 European Championship, though he lost to Romanian Nihai Histor in the same event. However, Anthony’s performance earned him the 2011 Amateur Boxer of the Year label by the Boxing Writers Club of Great Britain. Come 2012 London Olympics, Anthony fought his way into winning the Gold medal, defeating incumbent champion Roberto Carramelle in the super heavyweight finals.   

And ever since then, the sky no longer limited Anthony Joshua. He was accordingly honoured with Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award in the 2013 New Year Honours of Britain. 

Anthony Joshua: Challenges He Surmounted

And no – life was not always rosy for Anthony. At a time, he worked as a bricklayer on various construction sites. Sometime in 2009, Anthony got into a fight that landed him in UK’s Reading Prison. Even when he had begun amateur boxing in 2011, he was found in possession of 8 ounces of Cannabis in his car. For that, Anthony received 100 hours of unpaid work, and a 12-month community service after pleading guilty. He was also suspended from the Great Britain Boxing team until 2011, so he could later partake of the World Amateur Championships.

Anthony Joshua’s Secret of Success

Whether jokingly or not, Anthony claims his secret to success is eating eba and egusi – one of Nigeria;s well-known staple foods. He disclosed this in an interview with Oma Akatugba, sports journalist and CEO of Sportsbrand company. He also stated in another 2016 interview before the Dominic Breazale fight, that pounded yam is another important food he consumes before any match. In all, Anthony Joshua trains everyday of the year. Little wonder about his powerful physique. He consumes no less than 4,500 calories of nutrient-dense food daily, combined with intense workout sessions. 

Anthony Joshua: Personal Life

Anthony is father to a cute son named Joseph Bailey Temiloluwa. The boy’s mother is Anthony’s ex-girlfriend, Nicole Osbourne – a yoga coach and pole dance instructor. However, Anthony has been linked to two other women in brief romances – Faryal Makhdoom and Bella Hadid. At present, he is not married.


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About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.

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