The two-time world heavyweight champion has been subject to remarks questioning the name he has used throughout his career, with Whyte labelling him “fake” prior to the pair’s fight in 2015.
Joshua’s compatriots Whyte and Tyson Fury have historically called him ‘Femi’, a moniker of his middle name ‘Oluwafemi’, which originates from Nigeria.
In an interview with iFL TV, Whyte said: “The guy is fake, he doesn’t even use his real name. What is his name? His name is Femi. His name isn’t Anthony, his name is Oluwafemi. This man never uses his birth name come on man. I have a friend in a high place that tells me everything.”
Joshua explained the background behind his name whilst participating in a Q&A session at the Oxford Union.
“It was interesting because in our house it was very cultural towards Nigerian heritage,” he said. “I wasn’t born in Nigeria but I knew I was Nigerian, through family and the name Femi.”
Joshua went on to set the record straight with regards to the name he is commonly known by, which he has used throughout his boxing career.
“It is Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua, but all through my youth I was known as Femi which was quite a unique name where I grew up,” he explained.
“It was only when I started boxing that you had to go through the name on your passport but I always understood my Nigerian heritage.”
The former unified champion takes pride in his Nigerian heritage and recently held the country’s flag during Lawrence Okoli’s ring walk prior to his victory over Michal Cieslak.
Joshua and Whyte’s relationship stretches back to their amateur days, when the pair faced off in 2009, with the latter taking the win on that occasion.
The tables turned when the pair reconvened in 2015, however, this time in the professional ranks. Despite an initial scare, Joshua claimed victory, becoming British and Commonwealth champion in the process.