British-Nigerian, Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua has been named the world’s new heavyweight champion as he beats Charles Martin at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, April 9, 2016.
The 26 years old British knocked down his American opponent in two rounds to claim the title of IBF heavyweight title in only his 16th professional fight.
Joshua’s opponent, Martin who was making the first defence of the title he won earlier in January entered the ring with a tall crown whilst fitting with his nickname of ‘Prince’, didn’t look a great call in hindsight.
Joshua is the third man to win a pro heavyweight title while still a reigning Olympic champion and the first Briton to win both the super-heavyweight Olympic gold and a versio of the world’s heavy title.
Born 15 October 1989, in Watford to a Nigerian mother and a father of Nigerian and Irish descent, Joshua spent much of his early years in Nigeria and returned to the UK halfway through Year Seven to join Kings Langley Secondary School. Growing up on the Meriden Estate in Garston, Hertfordshire, Joshua was called ‘Femi’ by his friends and former teachers, due to his middle name ‘Oluwafemi’. He excelled at football and athletics and broke the Year Nine 100m record with a time of 11.6 seconds.
Joshua started his boxing career in 2007 at aged 18, when his cousin suggested he take it up. His club, Finchley ABC in Barnet, North London, is also home to professional heavyweight Dereck Chisora. Joshua won the 2009 and 2010 Haringey Box Cup. Joshua won the senior ABA Championships in 2010, in only his 18th bout, and later turned down £50,000 to turn professional. “Turning down that £50,000 was easy. I didn’t take up the sport for money, I want to win medals.” He also went on to win the same tournament the following year.
On 11 July 2013 it was confirmed that Joshua had turned professional under the Matchroom Sport promotional banner. Joshua made his professional debut on 5 October 2013 at the O2 Arena in London in the Main-Event of a card featuring Scott Quigg’s successful WBA super-bantamweight title defence against Yoandris Salinas, beating Italian Emanuelue Leo by a TKO in the first round.
His victory now brings a super-fight against fellow British, WBA and WBO champion Tyson Fury a step closer.