Joshua Edwards: Houston's Super Heavyweight Chasing Olympic Dreams
Joshua Edwards, Team USA super heavyweight boxer out of Houston, Texas, started boxing at just six years old. The highly spirited boxer is known for his heavy heart, dedication, and determination. Edwards, with the guidance of a dedicated coach and the loving support from his family, embarked on a journey that has changed his life.
Edwards’ strong passion for the sport at such a young age was due to his father’s inspiration. From the beginning of his time in the sport, he would lace up his gloves and was eager to learn the knowledge and skills of boxing. Josh is trying to follow in his dad footsteps, who once trained at the same boxing gym as Muhammad Ali. Josh emphasized that his dad is someone who motivates him to this day, and the sport of boxing has been in his DNA since he was born.
“There were times where I wanted to quit. I thought about quitting and focusing on basketball in high school, but I could see that if I quit it would tear my dad apart,” stated Edwards. “My dad has pushed me every step of the way, through both hard and good times. So, I fell in love with boxing again and been going stronger ever since.”
Joshua grew up in a big family and has had loving support from his parents and siblings throughout his entire career. Edwards stated times got hard at some points when he wasn’t making money, but his parents were always there for motivation and supported him the entire way.
Josh took his boxing journey to the next level at the age of 11 when he began training under Melvin Malone. The Houston native has stayed with ‘Coach Mel’ ever since and spoke very highly of his longtime coach, as he saw him more than a coach. Malone mentored him, and not only shaped himself into the strong, heavy-hearted boxer he is today, but also taught him the true values of the skills of boxing that he uses in and outside the ring.
Malone’s guidance not only improved Josh's boxing skills but also taught him the values of strength and adversity. This is where Edwards commitment was briefly tested in 2021, when he had to undergo a hernia surgery. The recovery was painful, but it taught him a valuable lesson about adversity.
“My injury taught me something about adversity,” Edwards talking about his injury. “I learned sometimes it isn't a bad thing. I used to always look at setbacks like, man, just why now, this is the worst thing that could have happened, but sometimes adversity is that motivating factor. So having that adversity helped me and now I'm used to this pain, and it is a cakewalk when I have it.”
Edwards fell short of qualifying for the Olympics in 2020. However, he gained experience from that tough time and learned more about the sport and himself. Since the 2020 Olympic Trials, Josh has become more mature and learned the skillset of being a multi-dimensional boxer. Using those adjustments in the ring, Edwards has added impressive career accolades since the Olympic Trials including a third-place finish at the 2023 Czech Republic Grand Prix and the 2022 AMBC Elite Championships, as well as taking gold at the 2021 USA Boxing Elite National Championships.
Edwards may be considered undersized when you put him up against the rest of the super heavyweights around the world, standing at six feet three inches tall and weighing around 220 pounds. However, Josh doesn’t care about the statistics and views his height and weight as an advantage.
Josh's boxing techniques go beyond the ring. When walking into a practice or match, Edwards’ positivity and upbeat character fills the gym making everyone laugh and have fun. Josh got this motivation from one of his idols, Roy Jones Jr. Edwards stated that Roy Jones Jr was best having fun in the ring. Jones Jr was known for taunting and smiling and toying with his opponents.
The super heavyweight out of Houston, Texas has hopes to live up to the historic city. Edwards has the goal to represent Houston and be the first Houston super heavyweight since George Foreman to qualify in the Olympics. Battling through adversity and being motivated from his father and loved ones, Joshua Edwards is a name that boxers around the world will remember.