Where were you when Anthony Joshua won gold at the 2012 Olympics? You probably remember. The then-22-year-old came out swinging in a thrilling final against two-time World Champion Roberto Cammarelle, and claimed the men’s super heavyweight title on home soil. It was a turning point in the life of the young athlete from Watford — and a monumental milestone in the world of British boxing.
Since that triumph almost a decade ago, Joshua’s knockout career has fostered many more memorable moments. And, with his clash against Ukranian Oleksandr Usyk this Saturday, we could likely be looking at another unforgettable fight. The bell will ring at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — but, if you haven’t managed to get tickets, there are fewer places better to watch than The Fitzdares Club, a Mayfair sporting haven where you can watch the punches land in luxury.
The world’s finest bookmaker currently has Joshua odds-on to win, offering 2/5 against Usyk’s 21/10. But, while you consider the stakes for Saturday, why not take a whirl through some of Joshua’s greatest sporting moments below?
Because, while the athlete has had his fair share of success outside of the ring — including a clothing collaboration with Hugo Boss, huge endorsement deals with Under Armour and Beats by Dre, and even an OBE in 2018 for ‘Services to Boxing’ (upgrading his 2013 MBE) — Joshua’s most significant achievements come when the gloves are on.
AJ wins his first world title, at The O2 Arena
In April 2016 — just three months after American Charles Martin was crowned IBF heavyweight champion — Joshua took the title for himself. At the time, the Briton was the IBF’s #4 ranked contender. But, on home soil (the fight took place at The O2 Arena, just 30 miles from where AJ grew up) Joshua defeated Martin in the second round by knockout.
With this win, Joshua became the first British super-heavyweight Olympic champion to win a professional heavyweight world title — and only the fourth boxer in history to do so. He also ensured Martin made history by becoming the second-shortest holder of the heavyweight world champion title, with a reign of just 85 days.
AJ vs Klitschko breaks all sorts of records
Deemed the ‘Fight of the Year’ by both The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America, Joshua’s much-hyped clash with Ukranian Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 broke boxing box office records. It took place at Wembley Stadium in April 2017 — just over a year after Joshua’s fight with Charles Martin — and sold over 80,000 tickets, with an audience of 10.4 million fans tuning in worldwide.
The fight itself, dubbed ‘the most anticipated boxing match in decades’, was met with acclaim from fans. Taken to 11 rounds, AJ won by technical knockout after subjecting Klitschko to a barrage of punishing punches against the ropes — after which the referee stopped the fight. CompuBox reported that, of the 355 punches AJ had thrown in the bout, 107 of them had landed.
AJ flirts with failure against Andy Ruiz Jr
The Joshua-Ruiz Jr. saga was a tale of two halves. The first fight, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, took place in June 2019. Joshua came out strong; knocking down the lesser-known American Andy Ruiz Jr. in the third round. But Ruiz bounced back, flooring AJ twice and winning by technical knockout. In post-fight reporting, the outcome was dubbed ‘one of the biggest boxing upsets since Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglas in 1990’.
But Joshua wasn’t down and out. A rematch took place mere months later, in December 2019. And, weighing 10lbs lighter than he did in June, AJ was back with a vengeance — and controlled the fight from the outset. Ruiz, 16lbs heavier for the rematch, was destined to lose as Joshua fought tactically and economically. The British boxer won via unanimous decision; regaining his unified heavyweight titles and restoring equilibrium to the sporting world.
AJ wins his gold medal at the 2012 Olympics
Next up, a throwback. Before all the ducks, dodges and drama of the fights above, Joshua stormed onto the scene at London 2012. Sharing the boxing stage with fellow Brit champion Nicola Adams, the young athlete’s path to victory saw him face Cuba’s Erislandy Savón, China’s Zhang Zhilei and Kazakhstan’s Ivan Dychko — before squaring up to the reigning Olympic champion, Italian Roberto Cammarelle.
Cammarelle was also a former two-time world champion. And, two rounds in, the Olympic final looked like it was swinging the way of the Italian. But, growing into the fight, Joshua levelled the scores after the third round and went on to be announced winner via count-back.
AJ faces undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk
It may be yet to happen, but Joshua’s upcoming fight against Usyk will almost certainly muscle onto this list. The drama behind the fixture began after Joshua defeated IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in December 2020, after which AJ once again voiced his desire to fight WBC champion Tyson Fury. In May, Fury and Joshua’s camps failed to come to a fight agreement — and, as a result, the WBO ordered a bout against their mandatory challenger, former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Nicknamed ‘The Cat’, Usyk is the only cruiserweight in history to hold all four major world championships, and the fight will be keenly followed this weekend. But where will you be? The Fitzdares Club — fixed to one of the nine state-of-the-art televisions adorning the walls? Or at home, betting along on the Fitzdares app, where the world’s finest bookmaker are offering odds of 10/3 for Joshua to beat Usyk on points.
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