The Government of Nigeria has disclosed that it will soon invite Anthony Joshua, the newly-crowned unified World Heavyweight Boxing Champion to the country.
The was made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
The minister revealed that the federal government had congratulated Joshua, the British professional boxer of Nigerian descent, who last week won Ukranian Wladimir Klitschko to become the unified World Heavyweight Champion.
Mr. Mohammed said Nigeria was proud to be associated with the new champion, whose Nigerian heritage he has publicly acknowledged.
“My heart is in Nigeria, my heart is in Britain. I am a Nigerian man by blood, yes,” the minister quoted Joshua as saying in a recent interview.
He added that the boxer, in the interview, also attributed the secret of his success to the eating of pounded yam, eba and egusi – all Nigerian cuisine.
The minister hailed Joshua for his humility, despite his success in boxing.
NAN quoted the minister as extolling his “undying spirit, coming off the canvas after he was knocked down by Klitschko in the sixth round to win by a Technical Knock Out in the 11th round of their pulsating fight”
Born in Watford to a Nigerian mother and a British father of Nigerian and Irish descent, Joshua made his professional debut in 2013.
Some of the early years of the 27-year-old champion were spent in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, before he returned to the UK halfway through year seven to join Kings Langley Secondary School.
While growing up on the Meriden Estate in Garston, Hertfordshire, Joshua was called ‘Femi’ by his friends and former teachers.