Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder both fought in the Olympics and won boxing medals for their countries before turning pro


Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are rivals at the top of the heavyweight division today.

AJ is the former WBA, IBF and WBO champion while Wilder previously held the WBC title and both are eager to reclaim their former glories.

Joshua represented Team Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, four years after Wilder fought for Team USA in Beijing
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Many UK fans are hoping AJ will still fight Tyson Fury before they both end their careers, with an all-British fight – no matter if there are belts on the line – a prospect that puts the spotlight on mouth watering.

However, the Joshua vs Wilder rivalry will no doubt reignite one day with many also keen to see them finally face off now that Wilder has confirmed he will continue boxing.

In their youth, however, they shared a common path to world titles when they competed in the Olympics.

At Beijing 2008, a 22-year-old Wilder represented America in the amateur “heavyweight” division.

And ten years ago, at London 2012, a 22-year-old AJ took the home country’s spot in the amateur ‘super heavyweight’ division.

Wilder was actually in the division below Joshua, as the amateur “heavyweight” division equals professional heavyweight, while the amateur “super-heavyweight” equals professional heavyweight.


Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder both fought in the Olympics and won boxing medals for their countries before turning pro
Wilder won bronze in 2008

In his first fight, Wilder knocked down Algerian Abdelaziz Toulbini with a big left hook and the referee gave a standing count.

The American continued to dominate and forced a second count before eventually winning by a wide margin of 10-4 on the old amateur point system.

In his quarter-final, Wilder met a tougher test with Moroccan Mohamed Arjaoui and only won by a tiebreaker with a narrow countdown with the scores even at 10-10.

His road ended in the semi-finals when Italian Clemente Russo outclassed Wilder, beating him 7-1.

Either way, he went home with a bronze medal for his efforts.

Four years later, it was AJ’s turn.

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder both fought in the Olympics and won boxing medals for their countries before turning pro
AJ won gold in 2012

The local favorite was lucky in his first fight narrowly beating Cuba’s Erislandy Savon 17-16, despite feeling he had lost.

From there though, Joshua was more convincing.

In the quarter-finals, he beat China’s Zhang Zhilei and won 15-11.

AJ edged Ivan Dychko of Kazakhstan 13-11 in the semifinals and then had to face defending Olympic champion Roberto Cammarelle in the final.

After a rocky start, Joshua battled to level the score at 18-18 as the fight drew to a close.

He claimed victory via the countdown tie-break and was announced as Olympic champion in front of an ecstatic home crowd.

Both Joshua and Wilder have won medals at the Olympics and won world titles as professionals.

For Joshua, ten years after his proud moment, he seeks to become a three-time heavyweight champion, but faces his toughest test yet.

Having lost his belts to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021, he has the chance to win them back in August.

Do that and he joins the elite company in the form of Lennox Lewis, Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield as boxers who have become heavyweight champions at least three times.

Usyk vs. Joshua 2 on talkSPORT

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder both fought in the Olympics and won boxing medals for their countries before turning pro

talkSPORT will be in Jeddah for the Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua rematch on August 20.

Join us – for free – to see where the WBA, WBO and IBF titles end up.


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