Mr. Robert Olaseni, the father of Anthony Joshua, who incessantly stood by his son, despite the embarrassment he gave him as a drug-addicted, street fighter, amongst others till he finally succumbed and became a heavyweight champion.
Olaseni has always been a stauch believer his boy’s dreams and he started ingraining quality education and life experiences in him from a tender age. Joshua was opportuned to attend one of Nigeria’s finest secondary schools, Mayflower, Ikenne, Ogun State owned by the late patriot and educator– Dr. Tai Solarin. After his marriage broke down with Joshua’s mother, Joshua and his father moved to England.
Joshua was an intelligent kid and sterling athlete but he lost his way and ended up a bricklayer. His father was embarrassed but did not give up on him, knowing the dream he had for his son, he supported him when he took up boxing. In 2009, Joshua became even more frustrated and lost his way again. He became a street fighter and was apprehended by the police and put on remand.
Joshua hit the lowest ebb of his life when he was stooped to the level of a low life common criminal and had to wear an electronic tag around his ankle like a terrorist after his release. His father was upset with him but kept believing in him. In March 2011, Joshua was pulled over by the police for over speeding in Colindale, North London.
He was found with eight ounces of Indian Hemp hidden in a sports bag in his Mercedes-Benz. He was charged with possession with intent to supply a class B drug. The offense carried a 14-year jail sentence. He pleaded guilty and the court handed him a 12-month community order. Joshua lost his place in the GB boxing squad and had to do 100 hrs of community work unpaid.
Robert did not let the atrocities of his then embattled get to him, rather, he bolstered his efforts in ensuring AJ’s dreams come true
Today Anthony Joshua looks back and says he would never have made it without his father’s strict love. On the night Joshua lost to Andy Ruiz, his father was so upset with Hearn, Joshua’s promoter that he caused quite a stir right in the boxing ring.
He subsequently turned to his son and whispered into his ears “you fought like a Lion tonight but next time fight smart like a Fox”. Joshua took his advice.