Anthony Joshua’s refusal to ‘stand still’ in the face of adversity makes him a big knockout force

Joshua will be looking to land his 19th consecutive knockout at Wembley Stadium in London on April 29 when he squares up against former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, with his IBF as well as the vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles on the line.

JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

The once troubled youngster from Watford, England, has blossomed into a mature man with the world at his feet. He boasts a 100% knockout-to-win ratio since turning pro in 2013 and is just the second British boxer to win both a gold medal at the Olympics (London 2012) and a world title by a major professional sanctioning body after James DeGale.

Only the second boxer after Joe Frazier to win a world heavyweight title while still reigning Olympic champion at the top weight, Joshua heads into the biggest fight of his career with an undefeated record of 18-0. He is currently ranked as the world's best heavyweight by BoxRec, second according to the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and fifth by The Ring magazine.

To say he has been a dominant force would be an understatement. He has gone through his opponents with utter disdain recording either TKOs or Kos. None of his fights have gone the distance thus far with his seventh-round KO and TKO of Dillian Whyte and Dominic Breazeale respectively being his longest bouts. Of his remaining 16 fights, 5 ended in the first round, 8 in the second and 3 in the third.

Seems like plain sailing in the ring at first glance when in fact his journey to the pinnacle of British boxing has been the exact opposite. For all his fights in the ring, it can be argued that Joshua’s biggest battles were outside it. A naturally gifted athlete, Joshua excelled in athletics and football from a young age. The biggest and only obstacles as far as him realizing his full potential were his own demons.

His frequent brushes with the law - most recently as an amateur boxer in 2010 when he was arrested with cannabis in his car – were hampering his development but at last he decided to turn his life around, fuelled by a great desire to succeed and prove his detractors wrong. He lately teamed up with Lucozade Sport to shoot his metaphoric rise from a baby to Britain’s best.The 90-second film is expected to be shown on Sky Sports as the last advert before he steps into the ring to take on Klitschko.

The film charts his humble beginnings and significant moments from his life like playing football and competing in athletics as a youngster to running away from police as he gets caught on an estate. It also focuses on his ankle tag upon his release from prison and him laying bricks as part of his 100-hour community service.

He casually put down his run-ins with the law to 'fighting and other crazy stuff' in 2009. But all that is in the past now. In the film, Joshua rightly says, 'nobody ever moved forward standing still’, and he will be hoping to drive exactly this point home against Klitschko and extend his undefeated run in pro boxing when he steps into the ring late this month.

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