Olympic gold medal winner Anthony Joshua leaves the amateur ranks behind and will turn over to the professional ranks making his debut on October 5, after signing with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom fight stable and his maiden bout will take place at London’s O2 Arena.
“We’re very sad to announce that Anthony Joshua is leaving the GB Boxing programme to pursue other career opportunities, but we’d like to wish him every success in the future. It’s been a whirlwind 3 years!” said The British Amateur Boxing Association confirming that the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medalist, Anthony Joshua MBE, will not be part of the GB Boxing squad in the 2013-17 Rio cycle.
“His contract with the BABA finished at the end of the 2009-13 London Olympic cycle and he has now left the WCPP to pursue other career opportunities.”
Rob McCracken, Performance Director of the British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA) added: “Anthony is a very talented sportsman who has enjoyed a meteoric rise to become Olympic champion, less than four years after he first began boxing.
“Naturally, it is a disappointment for us that Anthony has decided his future lies away from the GB Boxing programme but he departs with our very best regards and we wish him every success in his future career.
“As we enter the Rio cycle, six of the ten of the boxers that competed in London remain part of our squad and we have some excellent talents coming through so the programme has a strong nucleus to work with and a good opportunity to add to the success we have enjoyed in recent years.”
Matchroom later confirmed the details in a statement that read: “Anthony Joshua MBE has signed a long-term promotional deal with Matchroom Sport and will make his debut at the O2 in London on 5 October, live on Sky Sports.”
Joshua has not fought since his count-back win over Italy’s Roberto Cammarelle on the final day of last summer’s Games.
Joshua tweeted today: “I’d like 2 thank Finchley ABC & I’d also like to thank @gbboxing for everything they have done for me. The time is upon us!”
The career of Anthony Joshua MBE will be one to watch with interest in the pro game. Britain could have a big heavyweight prospect here, to really get excited about, in a division void of high profile stars, Joshua ticks all the boxes, required to be a success and he is welcomed into the professional game with excitement and expectation.