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2017 TSL Fighter Of The Year: Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua is the TSL FIghter of the Year. Now before you go there, we know what you are thinking: how does a guy has yet to unify all of the titles in his division receive such a high distinction? 

To be honest, the choice over undisputed champion Terence “Bud” Crawford, who clearly is the pound-for-pound king of the sport, came down to a few key items that cannot be overlooked.  

Anthony Joshua | All Knockouts (20-0)

All KO of Anthony Joshua

Heavyweight Resurgence

Listen, we are the first to tell you that Deontay Wilder has been getting overlooked by the fans and popular media as a true heavyweight champion that takes on all comers and will never quit in a battle. The unfortunate stigma that comes with being an Al Haymon advised fighter is that you will forever look like a cherry picker in many circles. But hey, haters are going to hate.

However, in just over one year since destroying “Prince” Charles Martin to capture the IBF Heavyweight championship, Joshua has skyrocketed to not only solidify his status as Britain’s most famous athlete and revered champion, but also as a global athletic symbol of the return of the heavyweights. 

In only 20 fights, he has been able to undo what the Klitschko’s did to the division by taking all the jewelry to Germany and jabbing it to sleep, reawakening its potential in the minds of the fans and laymen alike.

Anthony Joshua Dethrones Charles Martin as IBF Heavyweight Champion | SHOWTIME Boxing International

Highly touted British heavyweight Anthony Joshua takes down Charles Martin in the second round of their IBF Heavyweight World Championship on SHOWTIME Boxing International.

Pedigree

Joshua is a true athlete, having played soccer and run track in high school before venturing into the boxing gym at the age of 18. It didn’t take long for his impact to be felt in Britain. Joshua won the 2009 and 2010 Haringey Box Cup as well as the senior Amateur Boxing Association Championships, the premier tournament held annually in England. Fortuitously, the event is sponsored by the Matchroom Boxing Foundation, owned by his current promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua was a member of Great Britain Boxing and became an amateur champion at the GB Amateur Boxing Championships before also becoming the 2011 European Amateur Boxing Champion. He lost via one point in the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships, but along the way beat Italian reigning World and Olympic champion Roberto Cammarelle during the tournament, which many credit as his first true arrival on the world scene.  

This set up his Gold Medal winning performance in the super-heavyweight division at the 2012 London Olympics.  

Anthony Joshua Wins Super Heavyweight Boxing (+91kg) Gold – London 2012 Olympics

Full replay from the ExCeL – South Arena 2 as Team GB’s Anthony Joshua defeats Italy’s Roberto Cammarelle to win the men’s super heavy +91kg boxing gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games (12 August 2012).

Critical Match-ups

After defeating Charles Martin, it was critical for Joshua to not only face bigger names in the sport, but also to get the attention of fans in America. And the best way to do that is to fight Americans on American TV platforms. Promoter Eddie Hearn inked a deal with Showtime Sports, which was looking for a post-Mayweather coup, and received one with the signing of Joshua’s multi-fight, exclusive deal.

His title defense came against Dominic Breazeale, who he destroyed in seven rounds. Next up, Eric Molina who had challenged for the WBC title just the year prior to facing Joshua. He was beaten in three rounds. 

This set up the mega match against Wladimir Klitschko, who although he was an aging former champion, was still the man who held the heavyweight division in the palm of his hand for ten years. The result was pure magic, as Klitschko threw away the old game plan of jab him until he quits and actually fought the champion, knocking Joshua down for the first time in his career. What happened next was the stuff heavyweight championship battles are made of, as Joshua found himself again and battled until he made Klitschko quit in the eleventh round. The fight solidified Joshua as a global star and sent Klitschko into retirement with a huge payday.

Anthony Joshua Defeats Wladimir Klitschko via TKO | SHOWTIME Boxing

Anthony Joshua was crowned the king of the heavyweight division as he unified the division with an 11th round TKO of long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko before a record 90,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Sell-Out Crowds

Joshua has sold out every arena he has fought in since becoming a headlining main event fighter. These sell-out crowds have only magnified since becoming the ‘A side’ of the promotion (top-billed fighter) and have culminated in his last two fights against Klitschko and Carlos Takam selling out 90,000 and 75,000 seats respectively.

Oh, and did we mention this is all on his home turf of the U.K.? Joshua has forced every opponent to come to his home court to do battle and is crushing them in front of his countrymen just like he did when he won the Olympic gold medal.

Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam (Highlights)

Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam (Highlights)

Power

Not since Mike Tyson have we seen a heavyweight with such feared power. As a professional, Joshua has knocked out all 20 of his career opponents. Not decisions, just pure unadulterated headline-stealing knockouts that make this guy must-see TV.

Future Potential

With fights on the horizon like Joseph Parker and the return of Tyson Fury next year, plus a Wilder match-up probably occurring in early 2019, the heavyweight division sure looks fun again. No wonder Shannon Briggs wants in with the comical “Let’s Go Champ” movement.

Anthony Joshua raw and uncut

Anthony Joshua on Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker and Wladimir Klitschko. Credit: Courtesy of Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts FOLLOW US: Website: http://www.boxingnewsonline.net/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/boxingnewsonline Twitter: https://twitter.com/BoxingNewsED Shop: http://www.boxingnewsshop.com/clothing.html

Joshua is a true boxing sensation and has become a superstar in a short period of time. With the great buildup of Joshua vs. Wilder brewing, the American nemesis character is forming around Wilder and making fans salivate for their potential pairing. 

One thing is for certain historically, heavyweights are the true glamour division in boxing and although the lower weight classes have ruled for a while, it is clear that Anthony Joshua has made them great again and financially solvent in the process.  

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