It was the 5th of October, 2013, when Anthony Joshua, Olympic Gold medalist, stepped into the professional boxing arena for the first time. The highly anticipated debut of this promising hard-hitting British heavyweight generated an electric atmosphere. In a few moments, we’d get to see whether Joshua fully deserved the attention he’d garnered.
A Battle of the Giants: Imposing Frame of Joshua
The opponent for Joshua’s debut was Emanuele Leo of Italy; an unsung pugilist with an impressive undefeated record of 8-0. Both fighters were of tremendous physique, but it was Joshua who held a height advantage, standing at 6’6’’ tall, a characteristic that would prove pivotal.
Leo came into the bout hoping to extend his winning streak, while the heralded Joshua was aiming to make his mark at the onset of his professional career. What followed was nothing short of spectacle, showcasing the raw power and skill that has become Joshua’s trademark.
The Fight Breakdown
Right from the first bell, Joshua established a formidable presence in the ring. His hand speed was astounding for a heavyweight. Leo did his best to use movement and hit the body, but Joshua’s defenses were staunch and his retaliation, potent.
The fight ended in the very first round. Joshua, with his relentless attack, cornered his seemingly overwhelmed opponent and landed a series of punches that the Italian couldn’t fend off. Unable to respond, Leo was stopped by the referee, giving Joshua his first professional boxing win via TKO.
“Anthony Joshua’s debut marked him as a fearsome prospect for the heavyweight division. His power, speed, and control were a warning to all other fighters.”
Setting the Tone for a Storied Career
Joshua’s first professional fight was a spectacle that set the tone for his successful career to follow. It showcased Joshua’s sheer power, his potent combinations, and his ability to control the fight, traits which have become the signature of his boxing persona.
The fight also demonstrated his ability to keep his composure under pressure, a trait he’d repeatedly showcase in future titled matches. It was clear Joshua was not a fleeting phenomenon, but a figure set to take the heavyweight division by storm.
Since that first fight, Joshua has gone on to win three of the boxing world’s prestigious titles, including the IBF, WBA, and WBO. He has indeed justified the excitement that was generated around his professional debut.
Read More: Anthony Joshua’s biggest wins to date
The thrill of his first professional fight still lingers in the minds of boxing enthusiasts, a testament to the promising young fighter’s entry into the professional boxing circuit and the marks he would continue to make thereafter.