By Terence Dooley
Anthony Joshua’s march towards the professional ranks took a huge step forward earlier today when the British Amateur Boxing Association confirmed that the 2012 Olympic Super heavyweight gold medallist has left the amateur game behind. Joshua has signed a deal with Matchroom Sports and a press conference in London is scheduled for tomorrow and the 23-year-old will make his pro debut at The O2 on October 5, live on Sky Sports.. Joshua won gold in London last summer courtesy of a tight final win over Italy’s Roberto Cammarelle.
‘[BABA] has confirmed that the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist, Anthony Joshua MBE, will not be part of the GB Boxing squad in the 2013-17 Rio cycle,’ stated the BABA when revealing that Finchley’s finest is moving on. ‘His contract with the BABA finished at the end of the 2009-2013 London Olympic cycle and he has now left the World Class Performance Programme to pursue other career opportunities.’
Great Britain performance director Rob McCracken guided Team GB to a hugely successful medal haul and had nothing but praise for the 6’ 6’’ boxer: “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.”
Despite his relative inexperience, Joshua has opted to make the move into the professional game at a tender age for a heavyweight. It means that he is likely to be moved carefully during the early stages of his career as the U.K. bids to produce a world-beating heavyweight who can maintain at the highest level in the way that Lennox Lewis did over the course of his career.
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