Drake Curse strikes again: Anthony Joshua loses weeks after photo with music star

British boxer the latest to fall victim to the 'curse', following Juventus, PSG, Conor McGregor and Serena Williams

The referee waves off the fight against Andy Ruiz Jr, succumbing Anthony Joshua to his first professional defeat. AP Photo
The referee waves off the fight against Andy Ruiz Jr, succumbing Anthony Joshua to his first professional defeat. AP Photo

The 'Drake Curse' is real.

The Canadian music superstar has taken pictures, or been associated, with a series of athletes and teams only for those very people to suffer defeat in the immediate aftermath.

Among those to fall victim include the Alabama Crimson Tide American football team, tennis great Serena Williams, UFC superstar Conor McGregor, college basketball team Kentucky Wildcats college, French football team Paris Saint-Germain, and Italian football champions Juventus.

Now, all of those to taste defeat following their association with Drake could be explained to some degree as they came up against worthy opponents who had every chance of success.

Then came Anthony Joshua. The unified heavyweight champion of the world posted pictures with Drake two weeks ago, captioning the pose on social media: "Bout to break the curse".

Joshua was actually asked about the Drake Curse when on the Yes Network talk show - and quickly realised that his meeting with the musician came soon after Jarrell Miller withdrew from their fight after testing positive on three drug tests.

"You know about the Drake Curse? It's crazy right? It's real though ... You know what's weird actually, I took a picture with Drake ... before Miller got banned and the whole fight went to pot," Joshua had said.

But that wasn't when the Drake Curse struck. It struck on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden when Joshua sensationally lost to massive underdog Andy Ruiz Jr after the referee stopped the fight in the seventh round.

Joshua had been put on the canvas four times en route to his first professional defeat. The Briton's first fight at boxing's historic venue in New York City was meant to introduce America to boxing's next big superstar. Instead it ended in a nightmare.

The only time the Drake Curse has not struck (yet) is with the team the Canadian holds most dearly: his beloved Toronto Raptors. Drake was courtside to witness their Game 1 win over the Golden State Warrior in the NBA Finals.

Should the Raptors go on to lose the finals, it would be a stretch to blame the 'curse' considering the Warriors are the most dominant team in the NBA.

Joshua, however, cannot use the same excuse for Ruiz.

Published: June 2, 2019 10:51 AM

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