Does He have it All?
There are people who are inspiring. You want to know everything about them, you want them to win and you even want to make a video about them. One of those rare people is Anthony Joshua or as many call him, AJ.
AJ, in his short professional boxing career of 6 years, holds the 3 of the 4 major championships in the sport.: the IBF title since 2016, the WBA (Super) title since 2017 and the WBO title since March 2018. He also has the IBO title since 2017.
He is only one step away from being unquestionably and exceptionally great and that is the WBC title he needs to win challenging the current title holder, Deontay Wilder. There is strong belief and evidence that the boxing arena can see this coming as early as April, 2019, but more on that later.
What makes AJ exceptional is his stats and much more. He had 22 fights, 22 wins and 21 with KOs.
So, who is Anthony Joshua and what makes him one of the greatest boxers ever lived? If even you are someone who doesn’t follow boxing or UFC kind of fighting sports, why does AJ have a great fan base from all around the world? Can Anthony Joshua write history by winning the WBC title and become a member of the top boxing legends club like Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson? These are the questions we will put our gloves for today.
To find the answers, let’s delve into his life and move from there.
Anthony Joshua was born in October 15th, 1989 as the son of Nigerian Yeta and Robert Joshua of Nigerian and Irish ancestry. Joshua spent some of his early life in Nigeria as a boarding school student.
He returned to the UK at the age of 12 following his parents’ divorce. He was always a talented athlete. For example, he broke his school’s Year Nine 100m record with 11.6 seconds. He started boxing at the age of 18, which can considered to be really late for sports, when his cousin suggested it.
Within a few years, he started attending tournaments and the turning point in his career was when he won the gold medal in 2012 Olympic Games. Then, his professional boxing career took off as we know it today.
After only 5 short years of becoming a professional AJ became such a boxing star that his fight against Wladimir Klitschko in Wembley Stadium was packed with 90000 people. That would even be a hard goal for a Champions League game or a U2 concert. He has now 8million Instagram followers and people can’t get enough of him on Youtube.
What makes him so special and a worldwide star?
Firstly, he is undefeated and an undisputed knockout machine.
Secondly, he is a very inspiring, incredibly focused and he is also genuinely nice and a likeable person and people want him to win and maybe even see him even as a symbol.
Thirdly, because he is a millennial, he is like Elon Musk of boxing. He is always on social media, he is also a natural talent about self-promotion, he promotes his own brand. He even has an apparel brand.
Finally, he has a great team in the background. His manager is Freddie Cunningham, his promoter is Eddie Hearn, his trainer is Rob McCracken and he has close friends always traveling and practicing with him. His relations with all of his team and/or family are great, which affects the great outcomes. He has a mature, professional and supportive team family.
Can Anthony Joshua ever become as legendary as Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson?
To reach that level doesn’t only requires great fighting skills, but also character of fighting and incredible personality and AJ may have all of that. He is only 28 years old, which means he still has 10 or more years in his career. He is just entering his prime time.
If he adds the WBC title to his collection, he will be the undisputed champion of the world and write history. He repeatedly says that is his ultimate goal. Deontay Wilder, who is the current WBC title holder, and AJ have been discussing the match for years now and there are strong open rumors that that day may be in April, 2019, most probably in the Wembley Stadium.
However, since AJ is the undefeated and immensely popular cash machine of boxing right now, the negotiations take so long and the waiting time and buzz increases the value of the inevitable match even more.
The Anthony Joshua team basically needs a much bigger share of the revenue pie since he is the one mostly bringing the excitement to the whole boxing arena globally.
The second part of becoming a legend would be proving himself in the U.S. in late 2019 following the Deontay Wilder fight. The reason is because the U.S. is where things become globally recognized or popularized. Because when Americans love something or someone, they market that someone so well for the whole world to know.
In his interviews, AJ says he has hard time to walk in the UK, but when he comes to the U.S., that’s not the case. To be a worldwide legend, he has to win the hearts of the American people and media.
Finally, if one wants to be great in anything, then, the character and virtues may play an important role and Anthony Joshua possibly has all the character traits to be great.
In the beginning of his career, AJ turned down 50,000 pounds to turn professional. He said “Turning down that 50,000 pounds was easy. I didn’t take up the sport for money, I want to win medals.”
When he was knocked down by Klitschko, he stood up and knocked him down. That needs a lot of character. He says, “ No coach ever teaches to stand up when you are knocked down by hitting you with a baseball bat. You learn it there.”
He also always stay humble. He never underestimates the opponent and he says he learns so much about boxing and himself during every fight. That’s why, he continues to work on his weaknesses.
One physically clear proof would be his neck muscles growing rapidly in the last year only after more than a few people criticized his chin.
Anthony Joshua is a true fighter with great technical skills and power combined with a personality to be all-time great if he keeps his pace. We can’t wait to see his next fights with better and better performances.