Anthony Joshua: Drake curse strikes again

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Anthony Joshua was so confident of winning his heavyweight title fight, he felt OK posing with Drake beforehand.

The rapper has been accused of being “cursed” by sports fans after a string of unfortunate coincidences.

Previously, football teams have been banned from posting selfies with Drake and he’s been blamed for big losses by Serena Williams and Conor MacGregor.

But when Joshua met him in March, he tweeted a photo saying he would break that curse.

He didn’t.

The British boxer, (who was 1-25 favourite to win) was beaten by Andy Ruiz Jr during their world heavyweight title fight in New York’s Madison Square Gardens.

“He’s a champion for now, I shall return,” he said after the fight.

But he’ll probably want to make that return after hanging out with some different celebrity friends.

Sports fans on Twitter were quick to lay the blame on Drake – rather than the skills of Anthony’s opponent.

Earlier this year, the Drake “curse” struck for Paris Saint-Germain’s Layvin Kurzawa, when the footballer posed for a photo with the Canadian star and then had his team lose their very next game.

PSG’s spectacular 5-1 loss to Lille reignited suspicions that Drake, while obviously multi-talented, is a curse on every sports star he meets.

And AS Roma wanted nothing to do with it.

Obviously Roma were joking, but a number of clubs across England and Europe might be wishing they’d banned their players from posing for pictures with Drake.

Earlier this year, the rapper toured the UK and across Europe on his Assassination Vacation tour.

And a fair number of footballers have been among the thousands who’ve flocked to see him perform.

Here’s Kurzawa’s Drake photo:

Paul Pogba saw Drake perform at the Manchester Arena and got a picture taken with him – not long before Manchester United lost 2-1 to Wolves in the FA Cup.

It was a similar story for Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was at one of Drake’s seven shows at the O2 in London.

After losing 1-0 to Everton the following weekend, plenty of Gooners will probably be wishing he’d never posed for a picture.

Sergio Aguero is another Premier League player people think Drake cursed.

He missed a penalty in the Champions League as Man City lost 1-0 to Tottenham in April, not long after he’d been photographed with Drake at a show.

And could the rapper also be to blame for Borussia Dortmund losing 5-0 to Bayern Munich, after hanging out with their English rising star Jadon Sancho? At this point, why not?

It’s not just football

The Drake Curse has become a bit of a social media phenomenon in recent years.

In a way, it kicked off with Drake’s beloved NBA team the Toronto Raptors. He became a global ambassador for the club in 2013, and can be seen cheering them on from the sidelines whenever they’ve got a big game.

Unfortunately though, the last six years have seen the Raptors develop a bit of a reputation for choking in those big games.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The standard “watching sport” expression of a man who’s cursed

In 2015 Serena Williams was trying to become the first woman to win all four tennis Grand Slams in a calendar year since Steffi Graf did it in 1988.

But 2015 was also the year that Drake was spotted watching a lot of her games.

Roberta Vinci was a 300-1 underdog when she faced Serena in the US Open – but we’re pretty sure by now you can guess what the outcome of the match was.

And if you still need more evidence, last year Conor McGregor tapped out in the fourth round of his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Any guesses who he’d been hanging out with beforehand?

With so many infamous examples, it’s unsurprising that Drake has got in on the joke.

Ahead of the game that decided who’d be playing in the most recent Super Bowl, Drake wore a jumper featuring the logos of all four teams that were in with a chance.

Two teams had to make it to the final, so surely that was the end of the curse?

What followed was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history – a curse in the eyes of everyone who watched it.

There is good news though.

Drake’s tour is about to come to an end – so it looks like, for now, Roma might be in the clear.

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