Anthony Joshua is one of the most successful heavyweights of the modern era and he has been involved in some of the biggest boxing events of the last decade. The two time world champion returns to the ring against Jermaine Franklin on Saturday 1 April in a redemption mission after back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk.
The fight has huge significance on the future of the heavyweight division and AJ admits that he is likely to consider retirement from the sport if he fails to secure a victory. The 33-year-old is hoping to return to his best and a comprehensive victory for Joshua could even force an all British showdown with Tyson Fury later in the year.
Joshua has treated fans to a number of great performances over the years but what is the best victory in his career and who is the toughest opponent that he has faced? Here we take a look back at the top five victories of Anthony Joshua’s career so far as he prepares to take on Jermaine Franklin.
Anthony Joshua top five career victories
Anthony Joshua has taken on a series of strong opponents over the course of his career and he has been involved in a total of 12 world title fights winning nine and losing three. Joshua has beaten every fighter he has ever fought in his career other than Ukrainian star Oleksandr Usyk who he failed to beat across two fights.
Joshua’s victories in this list are ranked based on the quality of his opponents and the threat that they posed to him at the time of the fight. The rankings also take into account the records of the fighters before they faced Joshua and what they have gone on to achieve in the sport.
5. Joseph Parker - 31 March 2018
Anthony Joshua completed his sixth successive world title defence against Joseph Parker in March 2018. At the time Parker was an undefeated champion and he held the WBO belt after impressive victories over Andy Ruiz Jr, Carlos Takam and Hughie Fury.
The New Zealand fighter was the first fighter to take Joshua the distance ending his run of 20 consecutive knockouts. Parker impressed with his ability to slip past some of Joshua’s punches but was unable to take control of the fight and AJ secured a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards.
4. Alexander Povetkin - 22 September 2018
Alexander Povetkin was known for his explosive power and the likes of David Price, Hasim Rahman and Chris Byrd had all been victims to the Russian’s signature left hook. Povetkin was a former world champion and he entered the fight against Joshua with a record of 34 victories and just one career defeat.
Povetkin was 39-years-old at the time of his fight with Joshua but his power still proved potent during the fight and there were moments in the early stages where he threatened to end Joshua’s unbeaten record. As the fight advanced Joshua’s speed and power began to take its toll on the Russian and the fight was eventually stopped in round seven with Joshua securing a 22nd career victory.
3. Andy Ruiz Jr - 7 December 2019
Anthony Joshua faced Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch in Saudi Arabia just 18 months after his first career defeat. In the first fight Ruiz Jr stunned Joshua and the bookmakers by securing a technical knockout at odds of 25/1. The Mexican fighter bamboozled Joshua at close quarters with a series of explosive combinations to secure the stoppage.
Heading into the rematch, Joshua was under great pressure to regain his title and he approached the fight with a completely different style. Joshua used his height, reach advantage and speed to his advantage during the rematch with Ruiz and picked him off with consistent jabs rather than going for a showreel knockout.
The tactic worked to great effect and Joshua secured a unanimous decision on the judges scorecards. The victory showed Joshua’s ability to adapt his style to defeat different opponents.
2. Dillian Whyte - 12 December 2015
Anthony Joshua rose to fame by winning a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics but it was his victory against Dillian Whyte that really propelled him to boxing stardom as a professional. The fight was dubbed by the media as Bad Intentions and there was certainly no love lost between the two fighters in the build up to the fight.
Joshua headed into the fight with a perfect record of 14 career victories all of which coming by way of knockout within the first three rounds. Likewise Whyte also came into the fight with a perfect record of 15 career victories and 13 of those had come by way of knockout.
The build up was heavily focused on the first encounter between the pair and Whyte had actually beaten Joshua in the amateurs back in 2009. Many saw Whyte as the first real challenge in Joshua’s journey to becoming world champion and he posed a serious threat for Joshua at times in the fight with his direct approach and formidable left hand power.
However, Joshua ultimately prevailed from the fight to secure a seventh round stoppage - setting up a world title fight with Charles Martin later that year.
1.Wladimir Klitschko - 29 April 2017
Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko clashed at Wembley Stadium in April 2017 in a battle which has since been described as the Fight of the Year. Klitschko was the former world champion and he went into the fight with an incredible record of 64 victories and four defeats. The Ukrainian fighter had dominated the heavyweight landscape between 2006 and 2015 by winning an incredible 18 consecutive title fights.
Klitschko was keen to redeem himself and regain the belts after a defeat to Tyson Fury in 2015. The fight was viewed as a clash of the generations and it was viewed by a post-war record of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. Joshua vs Klitschko proved to be a tight encounter and both fighters scored knockdowns at different stages of the fight, however Joshua secured the victory with a technical knockout in the 11th round.