On the road to the 2012 Olympics, a certain Nigerian-British Boxer named Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua said he wanted to represent the country in the 2012 London Olympics. However, he was rejected. They told him if he was good enough, he will represent Britain.
He took up the challenge, represented Britain and he is now the IBF Heavyweight Champion of the world. How did he do it? Through sheer belief and hard work.
In front of a 90,000 capacity Wembley stadium, Joshua knocked out one of the most decorated and prolific boxers in the world in the person of 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko.
Look at Klitschko’s outstanding stat: 68 fights, 64 wins, 53 knockouts and 358 rounds and compare this to 27-year-old AJ’s 18 fights, 18 wins, 18 knockouts and 44 rounds, it is a monumental difference.
Regardless, AJ, as he is fondly called, did not allow the flowery stats to intimidate him. He went all out and knocked out Klitschko in the 11th round. Presently, he has 19 KOs’ and has been compared to the likes of great Muhammed Alli.
Boxing pundits had predicted an AJ victory because age was no longer on the side of Klitschko. Besides, Klitschko was beaten by Tyson Fury whom he called out after the win. But they could not write Klitschko off because of his years of experience.
All said and done, a Nigerian reject is the heavyweight champion of the world. And Nigerians are jumping on the bandwagon to claim him as our own. Well, they can. Even AJ is proud of his African and Nigerian heritage.
Amidst the euphoria, we should ask ourselves, why AJ was rejected and would he have been the world heavyweight champion if he had represented Nigeria? Million dollar questions that may never be answered.
The fact remains we should take care of our sports stars. Offer them the best and they will make the country proud. If not we will be running in circles. Especially now that Nigeria’s loss is Britain’s gain.
We too we have to claim AJ as our own. We cannot be exempted. We say congratulations to the new Nigeria-British Heavyweight champion of the world.