By News Team
Last Updated: 8th December 2020
Anthony Joshua has had a stellar career to date, from Olympic gold to becoming world champion. Ahead of Joshua’s next fight against Kubrat Pulev on Saturday, we’ve taken a look at five of AJ’s career highlights so far.
Going for gold
Before becoming the internationally recognised superstar that he is today, a fresh-faced Anthony Joshua headed into the London 2012 Olympics as one Britain’s brightest boxing medal hopes.
The Watford-born brawler certainly lived up to the billing with some thrilling performances on the way to the final. He then came out on the right side of a close points decision against Italian Roberto Cammarelle to seal Britain’s 29th and final gold medal of the games to launch himself into the public eye in style.
Downing Dillian Whyte
Fast forward to 2015 and Joshua faced-off with another of Britain’s heavyweight hopefuls in Dillian Whyte. Whyte came into the fight, like Joshua, with an undefeated record and had beaten AJ during their amateur days.
After overcoming the first real scare of his professional career early in the second round, Joshua regrouped, catching Whyte with a right hand to the temple, before downing him with a brutal uppercut in the seventh.
The win saw Joshua crowned British heavyweight champion and signalled his rising stock as one of the biggest names in the sport.
As one of the most formidable heavyweights in the modern era, Wladimir Klitschko would provide Joshua with his most certified challenge to date. Klitschko was looking to regain the WBA belt he had lost to Tyson Fury previously, while Joshua was looking to add another title to his growing collection.
The 2017 fight certainly lived up to the hype, with both men being knocked down during the bout and the judges’ score cards showing little between the two. However, it was Joshua who recovered the strongest, sending Klitschko to the canvas for a second and third time in round 11 before the referee stepped in.
With Deontay Wilder then holding the WBC belt, defeating New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in their WBO title bout in 2018 would leave Joshua with just one more title to collect as he looked to unify the heavyweight division.
Joshua would prove to all that he had the boxing credentials to back up his impressive knockout power, slipping from Parker’s advances and staying strong behind the jab for much of the fight. Despite some questionable refereeing during the bout, Joshua emerged the clear winner on the unanimous judges’ scorecards.
Although his run of 20 straight knockouts had come to an end, AJ had proved his all-round ability to the world with a classic technical display.
Regaining the belts from Ruiz
After suffering defeat at the hands of Mexican contender Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019, Joshua again had to call on his boxing basics to regain his titles during their December 2019 rematch in Saudi Arabia.
After weighing in considerably lighter for the second fight, Joshua looked quicker and sharper than we had seen him for several fights, again sticking and moving nicely and landing scoring shots from behind the jab.
In truth, Ruiz had no answer for AJ’s change of tact and offered little in the way of a threat this time around. Joshua would go on to claim another unanimous points decision and regain his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.
Joshua’s next fight will see him defend those belts against Pulev on Saturday, where he is the 1/10 favourite for victory.