Why is Anthony Joshua Called Femi?

Mike Pedersen

anthony joshua called femi

Anthony Joshua, a formidable force in the world of professional boxing, has captivated audiences with his skill, strength, and determination. However, behind the illustrious career and the title of heavyweight champion, there lies a lesser-known aspect of Joshua’s identity.

Growing up on the Meriden Estate in Garston, Hertfordshire, he was affectionately called “Femi” by his friends and former teachers. The origins of this nickname can be traced back to his middle name, Oluwafemi, which holds cultural significance.

In this blog, we delve into the intriguing story behind why Anthony Joshua is called “Femi.” We explore his early years, the emergence of the nickname within his social circle, and the transition from “Femi” to his widely recognized name, Anthony Joshua, as he embarked on a remarkable boxing career.

The Early Years

Joshua’s childhood on the Meriden Estate in Garston, Hertfordshire, played a significant role in shaping his athletic journey. From a young age, he exhibited a passion for sports, with a particular inclination towards football and athletics.

Growing up in a community that embraced physical activities, Joshua found himself immersed in a culture that fostered a competitive spirit and determination.

Football became an integral part of Joshua’s early life, and he excelled on the pitch, displaying remarkable athleticism and talent. His skills on the football field caught the attention of his friends and teachers, who recognized his potential as an athlete.

Furthermore, Joshua’s middle name, Oluwafemi, holds deep cultural roots. Oluwafemi is of Nigerian origin, and it carries significant meaning.

The name is composed of two parts: “Oluwa,” which means “God” in Yoruba, and “femi,” which translates to “love me” or “cherish me.” In Nigerian culture, names often have spiritual or aspirational significance, reflecting the family’s beliefs or desires for the child.

Thus, Joshua’s middle name, Oluwafemi, represents a connection to his Nigerian heritage and symbolizes the hope for divine love and favor throughout his life.

It is within this cultural context that the nickname “Femi” originated, as his friends and former teachers affectionately embraced this part of his identity.

The Nickname Emerges

As Joshua’s friends and former teachers became aware of his middle name, Oluwafemi, they naturally gravitated towards using it as a nickname. The adoption of the name “Femi” among his inner circle was driven by several factors, including familiarity and a sense of camaraderie.

Firstly, Joshua’s friends, who spent considerable time with him on the Meriden Estate, witnessed his talent and dedication in sports, particularly football and athletics.

The discovery of his middle name provided a personal and unique identifier, allowing them to forge a closer bond with him. By using the nickname “Femi,” they not only acknowledged his Nigerian heritage but also established an intimate connection rooted in shared experiences.

Moreover, the nickname served as a means of fostering camaraderie within the community. Nicknames are often used to create a sense of belonging and solidarity among friends.

By referring to Joshua as “Femi,” his peers emphasized their acceptance of his cultural background and affirmed his place within their social circle.

The adoption of the nickname also showcased the supportive and inclusive nature of Joshua’s friends and former teachers. It demonstrated their appreciation for his heritage and further reinforced the strong bonds they shared.

Overall, the emergence of the nickname “Femi” was driven by a desire to celebrate Joshua’s Nigerian roots, establish a sense of closeness, and cultivate a spirit of camaraderie within his community.

Transition to Boxing

Anthony Joshua’s journey into the world of boxing began relatively late in his life when he was 18 years old in 2007. Prior to that, he had primarily focused on football and athletics.

However, a significant turning point came when his cousin made a suggestion that would change the course of Joshua’s athletic pursuits. Recognizing his cousin’s physical abilities and potential, he encouraged Joshua to take up boxing.

Inspired by his cousin’s advice, Joshua made the decision to pursue boxing seriously. This marked a pivotal moment in his life, as he redirected his energy and passion toward a new sport that would ultimately propel him to great heights.

As Joshua delved deeper into boxing, he transitioned from being known as “Femi” to using his given name, Anthony Joshua. This shift in identity reflected his commitment to his boxing career and the professional path he was embarking upon.

Embracing his given name allowed him to establish his own unique brand and persona within the boxing world, separate from the familiarity of his childhood nickname.

The transition from “Femi” to Anthony Joshua symbolized his transformation from a talented young athlete to a serious contender in the sport of boxing.

It signified his dedication, focus, and recognition that he was now embarking on a new chapter in his life.

From that point forward, he would be known and celebrated by his given name as he made his mark on the boxing landscape, etching his legacy as one of the most successful heavyweight boxers of his generation.

The Rise of Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua’s journey in the world of boxing has been nothing short of remarkable, marked by numerous accomplishments and successes that have solidified his status as one of the sport’s most prominent figures.

A significant milestone in Joshua’s career came in 2012 when he represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games in London. Displaying exceptional skill and determination, he won the gold medal in the super heavyweight division, catapulting him into the global spotlight.

Following his Olympic triumph, Joshua turned professional and embarked on a series of victories that showcased his immense talent.

With a formidable combination of power, agility, and technique, he quickly rose through the ranks, winning numerous high-profile bouts and capturing multiple world titles in the heavyweight division.

As Joshua’s professional career flourished, there was a notable shift in recognition from the nickname “Femi” to his widely known name, Anthony Joshua.

With each victory, his reputation grew, and his given name became synonymous with boxing excellence. Fans and spectators around the world recognized him as Anthony Joshua, the dominant force in the ring, rather than just “Femi,” the nickname of his earlier years.

The transition from “Femi” to Anthony Joshua mirrored his ascent to prominence and solidification as a boxing superstar. It reflected his evolution as a professional athlete, where his achievements and skills spoke for themselves, ultimately establishing his name as a symbol of greatness in the world of boxing.

Evolving Identity

Celebrities and public figures often develop a range of names or nicknames associated with them throughout their careers. This phenomenon can stem from various factors, including personal preferences, branding considerations, or shifts in public perception.

Anthony Joshua’s experience with the nickname “Femi” provides an interesting perspective on this aspect of evolving identity.

Over time, it is not uncommon for nicknames to become less commonly used for public figures as they gain prominence in their respective fields.

In Joshua’s case, as he rose to prominence in the sport of boxing and achieved remarkable success, his given name, Anthony Joshua, became the primary name associated with his professional identity.

As his profile grew, it was natural for the nickname “Femi” to gradually fade into the background.

There could be several reasons for this shift. Firstly, the name “Anthony Joshua” carries a sense of universality and recognition that can transcend specific circles or communities.

It allows for a broader appeal and makes it easier for the public to identify and connect with him. Additionally, as a professional athlete, establishing a personal brand and a strong association with one’s given name becomes crucial.

It allows athletes to build a recognizable and marketable identity, which can extend beyond their athletic achievements.

Embracing one’s given name as a professional athlete holds significant importance. It represents a sense of authenticity and ownership of one’s accomplishments.

By fully embracing their given name, athletes can establish a personal brand that encompasses not only their athletic prowess but also their values, aspirations, and legacy.

It allows them to shape their narrative and cultivate a lasting impact in their respective fields.

In Anthony Joshua’s case, the shift from the nickname “Femi” to his given name represents a natural progression in his journey as a professional athlete.

It highlights the importance of embracing one’s given name and personal brand, enabling athletes to leave a lasting imprint on their sport and become influential figures both within and beyond their respective communities.

Evolution of Anthony Joshua’s Identity and Nickname

ChildhoodJoshua’s friends and former teachers affectionately called him “Femi” due to his middle name.
BoxingTransitioned from “Femi” to his given name, Anthony Joshua, as he pursued a boxing career.
RiseAchieved numerous accomplishments in boxing, with his given name becoming widely recognized.
Public“Femi” became less commonly used over time as Anthony Joshua gained prominence in the sport.
BrandingEmbracing his given name established a strong personal brand for Anthony Joshua as a boxer.


Why was Anthony Joshua called “Femi” in the first place?

Anthony Joshua was called “Femi” by his friends and former teachers because it was derived from his middle name, Oluwafemi. It is a common practice to use parts of one’s middle name or other personal attributes to create nicknames among friends and close circles.

Is Anthony Joshua still referred to as “Femi” by anyone?

While it is possible that some close friends or individuals from Joshua’s childhood may still refer to him as “Femi” as a sign of familiarity, the nickname is not commonly used in his professional career or by the general public. As his boxing career progressed, his given name, Anthony Joshua, became the primary name associated with him.

Does Anthony Joshua have any other nicknames besides “Femi”?

Apart from the nickname “Femi,” Anthony Joshua is often referred to by the moniker “AJ,” which is derived from his initials. “AJ” has become a popular and widely recognized nickname among fans and media outlets.

Did Anthony Joshua have any say in the transition from “Femi” to his given name?

The transition from “Femi” to Anthony Joshua as his widely recognized name was likely a natural progression that occurred as he gained prominence in the sport of boxing. While it’s not explicitly mentioned whether Joshua actively sought the change, it is common for public figures to gravitate towards using their given names as they establish their personal brand.

How did the transition from “Femi” to Anthony Joshua impact his career?

The transition from “Femi” to Anthony Joshua reflects Joshua’s growth as a professional athlete and allowed him to establish a more universally recognizable identity. Embracing his given name helped him build his personal brand, making it easier for fans, sponsors, and the general public to associate him with his remarkable boxing achievements. It solidified his status as a formidable presence in the sport and enhanced his marketability as a globally recognized athlete.


The evolution of Anthony Joshua’s identity from “Femi” to Anthony Joshua represents his remarkable journey as a professional boxer. As he rose to prominence in the sport and achieved numerous accolades, the transition to using his given name symbolized his establishment as a global figure and the creation of his personal brand.

Embracing his given name allowed him to transcend boundaries and connect with a worldwide audience, shaping his narrative as a dominant force in boxing. Joshua’s story reminds us of the power of a name and the significance of personal branding in building a successful career and leaving a lasting impact.

His journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes, highlighting the importance of authenticity and the ability to shape one’s own legacy on the world stage.

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Mike Pedersen

I'm a sports researcher and writer. I have been involved in sports writing for the last 10 years, so I can help you with your content writing needs. I have experience in sports writing and research as well as copywriting. I also have experience in producing content for digital platforms such as websites and social media channels. But my field of love is Boxing. LinkedIn

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