NIGERIANS woke up last Sunday morning to the heart-warming news of Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua’s latest boxing victory against Kubrat Pulev. Joshua retained his world heavyweight titles by knocking out Pulev in the ninth round on Saturday night, December 12, 2020.
A Briton, born to a Nigerian mother, Yeta, and Robert Joshua, an Irish man of Nigerian descent, Joshua, no doubt, has become Nigeria’s poster ambassador because of his love, dedication and identification with Nigeria in all his doings.
Joshua with all his titles – WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO – has provided more for the world to reckon with his bravery and confirm that he will face Tyson Fury in a potentially lucrative world heavyweight unification title contest next year.
Anthony Joshua was born on October 15, 1989 in Watford, Hertfordshire, but his Nigerian origin is traceable to Shagamu, Ogun State. He attended Mayflower School in Ikenne.
Joshua has always been good in sports, especially in athletics and football. At Kings Langley Secondary School, Watford, he broke his school’s 100 metres record when he returned a time of 11.6 seconds.
At 18, Joshua got serious with boxing and joined a local club in Watford. He won all his eighteen fights as an amateur and also a gold medal in the super heavyweight category at the 2012 London Olympics. He turned professional in 2013. For his services to the art of boxing, the Anglo-Nigerian pugilist was appointed Member of the British Empire, MBE.
Too hot to handle, Joshua’s early fights as a professional ended mostly in knockouts. In his twelfth bout against Raphael Zumbano Love, Joshua defeated him by knockout in the second round. Kevin Johnson, a former world title challenger, also suffered a knockout defeat in the hands of Joshua.
In 2015, Joshua, in 90 seconds, defeated Gary Cornish, a Scott and the IBO Intercontinental champion, to win the vacant Commonwealth title. In his first defence of the Commonwealth crown against Dillian Whyte, Joshua inflicted a devastating seventh round knockout against Whyte who had beaten him in their amateur days.
In 2016, he defeated the IBF heavyweight champion, Charles Martin, in the second round of their scheduled 12-round bout to become the IBF heavyweight champion.
After knocking out Molina in the third round, Joshua also defeated the once dreaded Vitali Klitschko, again by knockout in the eleventh round. Carlos Takam, Joseph Parker and Joseph Povetkin also went under Joshua’s heavy punches.
His winning streak, however, was interrupted in 2019 when he took on a hitherto unknown Andy Ruiz Jnr. Joshua lost his WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF belts to Ruiz Jnr. Joshua got a rematch in Saudi Arabia, where he won and reclaimed his four world championship belts.
After the Saudi fight, Joshua waited for one year to return to the ring. Talks about a possible unification bout against fellow Briton and WBC champion, Tyson Fury, were cut short when the WBO ordered Joshua to defend its belt against mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev.
Now, Joshua’s victory over Pulev has again revived discussions about the big fight between him and Tyson Fury.
We wish Anthony Joshua victory in his coming epic battle with Tyson Fury. Nigerians are fully behind you, Joshua. May God be with you.