• Sun. May 19th, 2024

How Nigeria rejected Anthony Joshua.

Last Friday March 8th Anthony Joshua knocked out Francis N’Gannou in a boxing fight that lasted only go two rounds. Challenging Tyson fury who went 10 rounds from a newbie in boxing.

In a surprise twist of things Anthony Joshua took the mike and gave a shoutout to the people of cameroon, the people of London, the people of watford and the people of Saudi Arabia ignoring Nigeria his home country this sparking a lot of debate online.

“The people of Cameroon, l appreciate you guys. Where is my Cameroonian people? Let’s make some noise for the Cameroonian people. Africans united, respect (waving to them). Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Where is my people from London? Griiiiiiii….Watford. And most importantly, where is my people from Saudi Arabia? Yeee…Thank you to His Excellency….for hosting me, MBS. Thank you so much. I appreciate you guys. Everyone in Saudi. And everyone here tonight, I really do appreciate you guys. On to the next, thank you Francis Ngannou.”

How Nigeria ignored young and struggling Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua Triumphs: Decisive Knockout Victory Over Francis Ngannou

The journey to success is often paved with initial setbacks, and Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua’s path to becoming a two-time unified world heavyweight champion is a testament to that. His early rejection by Nigerian boxing officials in 2008, when he sought to represent Nigeria at the Olympics, led him to embrace his birthplace, the United Kingdom, as his professional boxing ground.

Joshua, born in Watford to a Nigerian mother and a British father of Nigerian and Irish descent, has never lost touch with his Nigerian roots. Known affectionately as “Femi” among his peers, he proudly bears a tattoo of Africa on his right shoulder, with Nigeria prominently outlined, symbolizing his connection to his heritage.

Anthony joshua’s tattoo

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His childhood included time spent in Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria, at a boarding school, which instilled in him a strong sense of discipline—a trait that would later serve him well in his boxing career. Despite the initial snub from Nigerian officials, which stemmed from a misunderstanding about trial dates, Joshua’s passion for boxing never waned.

The decision to turn Joshua away was not taken lightly by Obisia Nwankpa, the chief coach of the Nigerian boxing team at the time. He had to make a tough call between two experienced boxers, Durodola Olanrewaju and Onorede Ohwarieme, and the then-unknown Joshua. The outcome of the Beijing Olympics did not favor the Nigerian boxers, but Nwankpa still believes that Joshua would not have outperformed them given the circumstances.

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Jeremiah Okorodudu, a former Olympic boxer for Nigeria, suggests that Joshua’s rejection was also influenced by a belief that if he were truly talented, he should compete for Britain. This rejection only fueled Joshua’s determination, leading him to represent Great Britain and win an Olympic gold medal in 2012.

Anthony Joshua with his Olympic gold medal

Nwankpa reflects that perhaps Joshua’s British birth and representation afforded him advantages that he might not have had otherwise, including superior management and preparation. As of 2024, Joshua has an impressive professional record with 28 wins, 25 by knockout, and only 3 losses in 31 matches. His achievements have not only made him a boxing icon but also a source of inspiration for many, particularly in his ancestral home of Sagamu, Nigeria, where he is celebrated as a local hero.


Mbiydze is a web and graphic designer, digital marketer, and founder of a group of companies including CHEETAH CAMEROON, MBIYDZELA DIGITAL and PULSEBEAT ENTERTAINMENT  He is an ambitious entrepreneur with experience in various fields.
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