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Monday, 16 December 2019

Anthony Joshua : How Well Do You Know Your Champion?




It is no longer news that Anthony Joshua has defeated Andy Ruiz (Jnr) to reclaim his IBF, WBA (Super), WBO and IBO belts and once again become the heavyweight champion of the world in boxing.


Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua displaying his belts after a fight


The rematch, dubbed Clash of the Dunes, held at the Diriyah arena  in Saudi Arabia on 6th December 2019. Boxing pundits say, it lived up to its billing as one of the greatest heavyweight contest of all time, second only to Mohammed Ali's Rumble in the Jungle fight in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Thrilla in the Manilla fought in the Philippines.

During the first encounter, Joshua, previously undefeated, ate the humble pie as he was knocked out by Ruiz, a Mexican who was then the challenger. The underdog challenger thus became the heavyweight Champion.

During the rematch, however, a more tactical and clinical Joshua emerged. He had a strategy of hit-and-avoid-been-hit and stuck with it, thus producing a masterful boxing fight. He defeated Ruiz with a unanimous decision and reclaimed his belts.


Anthony Joshua lands a powerful right-hand jab on Andy Ruiz Jnr

'Success Has Many Fathers, while failure Is An Orphan.'
Oh, how everyone loves to identify with success and successful people!
Encomiums started pouring in from all over the world as soon as Joshua defeated Ruiz. Social media lit up with congratulatory messages from all and sundry – friends and foes, fans and haters.  Even former champion Wladimir Klitschko who Joshua retired from boxing had this to say:



Anthony Joshua however, has not always been successful. Just as everyone else, he has had his fair share of challenges as life has not been a bed of roses. 
Let's find out how much you know your Champion as we examine some relatively unknown facts him:

  • He was  christened Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua son of Robert Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua and Yeta Odusanya, both Nigerians. His father though has some Irish ancestry.

  • Though born in Watford in the United Kingdom (thus being British by birth), he hails from Sagamu a city in Ogun State southwestern Nigeria. He is 30years old.

  • He attended Mayflower schools, a prestigious high school (known as secondary school) in Ikenne, Ogun State Nigeria. Mayflower schools were founded by the late Tai Solarin, an educationist and human rights activist in Nigeria

  • His Nigerian education suffered a setback when his parents got divorced. He relocated to England in the UK with his mother with whom he is still living. It was in the UK that he became known as Anthony Joshua or simply AJ. His father, however, still has a strong influence in his life.

  • The UK opened a new vista into his life. There he became a handyman as he learnt bricklaying as a profession. However, in an attempt to settle down and find his feet, Joshua ran into bad company. He learnt how to defend himself by becoming a street fighter. That move set him on a collision course with law enforcement agents as he was detained and remanded in police custody.  He was later sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with 100 hours of community service for being caught in possession of substances suspected to be hard drugs.

  • AJ started boxing as an amateur in 2007. He was 18 years old at the time. He turned professional in 2013. he has an impressive 24-23-1(24 fights, 23 Wins, 1 loss with 21 knockouts). He attempted to represent his native Nigeria in the Olympics games but he was refused. he later joined Team GB and won Olympic Gold medal for England in 2012 Olympics held in London.

  • Joshua obtained most of his belts by knocking out his opponents
    • IBF - Won by knocking out Charles Martin in April 2016. Successfully defended by defeating Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale, Carlos Takam all by knockouts.
    • WBA - won by knocking out Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017.
    • WBO - Won by defeating Joseph Parker on a unanimous decision in March 2018. Successfully defended by beating Alexander Povetkin.
    • Joshua also has an Olympic gold, Commonwealth and British heavyweight titles in his arsenal of medals

  • Unlike other professional boxers, Joshua holds his Nigerian roots in high regard. He has been seen draping the Nigerian flag around his shoulders after boxing fights, openly acknowledging his father as a Nigerian in the boxing ring.



  •  His love for Nigeria was again on display during his rematch with Ruiz as he chose the track "Water e no get enemy" by late Nigerian afrobeat maestro Fela Anikulapo Kuti as his entrance song. He had previously used another Nigerian artiste Burna Boy's track titled Ye during his first fight with Ruiz in June.

  • As an expression of his undying love for Africa in general and Nigeria specifically, AJ is considering hosting a major heavyweight fight there.

  • In preparation for his rematch with Ruiz Jr, AJ travelled back to Nigeria to regain the never-say-never, can-do, irrepressible spirit that Nigerians are known for. This was revealed by Don Charles in a recent interview.

  • AJ has a charming 2-year-old son christened Joseph Bayley Temiloluwa Prince Joshua or simply called Joseph Joshua (JJ).
  • Though on a strict diet as a result of his career, Anthony Joshua has revealed that his favourite Nigeria meal is Eba with Egusi soupHear him: 
  • "My heart is with Nigeria, my heart is with Britain. I'm Nigerian by blood, yes, eating eba with egusi is the secret of (my) success."

In conclusion, Anthony Joshua's life both in and out of the ring has proven that though life may knock you out sometimes, but with the right mentality, determination and focus, you can bounce back, aim for and reach the highest heights. There, the sky would just be your starting point.

Finally lets hear from the Champion himself as speaks on social media:


My hope is that someone sees my page and decides not to give up. Clean hearts win



There is a Champion in you!

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