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By Ofonime Honesty

I write with mixed feelings. Feelings of joy and sadness. I write to celebrate and lament. On a day like this, I must spill ink in solidarity with Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua, the rave making heavyweight pugilist who was hitherto rejected in his native Nigeria.

Dear reader, the God that made the rejected stone become the chief corner stone is still at work today.

The world literally held its breathe on the night of Saturday, March 31, 2018, as two undefeated boxing champs, Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker, staked their records and belts in a title unification bout in front of 78,000 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Joshua outpunched his opponent to add the World Boxing Organization (WBO) belt to his International Boxing Federation (IBF), International Boxing Organization (IBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) belts. Having recorded a scary 20 knockouts in his previous 20 fights before the Parker tango, Joshua had to rely on the judges for the first time in his professional career as he triumphed by scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 after the cagey fight. He emerged unscathed from the latest challenge.


Joshua has won adulations with his latest victory. He has been tipped for higher glory in the fist-throwing business. Aged just 28, he is scaling unbeknownst heights. With a future clash with WBC Champion, Deontay Wilder, on the cards, AJ, if he wins, would become the first undisputed boxing heavyweight champion of the world since Lenox Lewis of Britain.

A level-headed dude, AJ takes each challenge as they come. He pursues his dream with fervor. He has talent but his indomitable fighting spirit is what makes him a serial champion. This is someone who has survived many knee-jerks in his prolific career. He has surmounted oddities. You underrate him at your peril.

Rejected by Nigerian coaches when he indicated interest to represent the country at the London 2012 Olympic Games, AJ trudged on. Disappointed, he returned to the United Kingdom and the rest is history – UK offered AJ what Nigeria denied him.

In a nation like UK where Nigerian politicians are only known for stashing away stolen funds, AJ is singlehandedly attempting to correct such negative impression. The Iboris, Diezanis, et al, shame on your names. History will forever spit on your names.

The Anthony Joshua story inspires but, conversely, what if everything went contrary? His story typifies everything inherently wrong in the Nigerian polity. Dear reader, look around and tell me what you see? Able-bodied young men and women wasting in this nation of inverted values. Imagine Anthony Joshua with such high watts of energy in the streets of Nigeria. Imagine him punching people into coma on the streets. Imagine AJ wasting his life on drugs.

There are many AJs building their dreams in makeshift gyms across Nigeria – some can’t afford gloves; they wrap fists with fabric. They lack facilities and qualified coaches.


Many undiscovered Anthony Joshuas are clutching certificates in search of non-existing white collar jobs. Graduate AJs are hanging around politicians for crumbs. Many AJs are slaughtered by herdsmen. Many unemployed AJs are still being fed by parents.

Nigeria has lost many human resources to foreign countries because we fail to spot talents. We fail to harness resources into something productive. We don’t develop human resources; ours is to continue exploiting natural resources for selfish purposes. We own crude oil but aren’t we buying it exorbitantly? We flare gas which should be conserved and channeled to solve our electricity needs. There is a Ministry of Sports whose Minister is more famous for donning red berets than discovering talents. We have a national stadium which has become an abode for wild animals. Ours is a nation where citizens see ‘greener pastures’ in places like war-ravaged Libya. This nation is a monumental irony.


Nobody fights like a black man. A black man is an embodiment of power. For decades, boxing has been monopolized by blacks. Just check this: Mohammed Ali, Mike Tyson, Lenox Lewis, Floyd Mayweather Jnr., David Haye, Evander Hollyfield, Deontay Wilder, Sugar Ray Robinson, Oscar De La Hoya, even Samuel Peter, the names continue. Centuries ago, the whites saw energy in Africans and carted our forefathers away to work in plantations. During the world wars, blacks were conscripted to fight in the frontlines because of natural tenacity and ruggedness. We have failed to utilize what the whites saw in us.

AJ’s latest fight was one of the highest selling boxing fights in British history. The young man rakes in revenue for Britain.

Joshua through sheer determination has survived the odds. By rejecting him in 2012, we literally threw the baby away with the bath water, but the young man has seemingly forgiven us. Born to Nigerian parents from Ogun State, AJ flaunts a British flag as a professional fighter but his heart is firmly set on Nigeria. A map of Africa is boldly inked on his right shoulder with the word ‘wisdom’ inscribed above it. There is an inset of the Nigerian map on the map of Africa tattoo.

In a chat with Oma Akatugba of Sportsbrand, he disclosed that “eating eba with egusi is the secret of success”, and reeled plans to help better lives in Nigeria through philanthropic exploits. A true son of the soil!

Anthony Joshua, I stand amazed by your story. I draw confidence and inspiration in you. Thanks for being a role model to your contemporaries and upcoming generation. I pray for your continuous success. May you outpunch more opponents. May your fists never be fractured. May God hide you from career-spoilers. Most importantly, may our leaders be shamed by your story, realize their foolishness and turn a new leaf.

The irrefutable truth remains: Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua is Nigeria’s loss and Britain’s gain.

(Ofonime Honesty is a journalist. He writes in from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. +2348025286082 [email protected])

The post ANTHONY JOSHUA: NIGERIA’S LOSS; BRITAIN’S Gain (A MUST READ) appeared first on The Killer Punch News - Latest Headline News Around The World At your Finger Tips.

This post first appeared on The Killer Punch News | Latest News About Akwa Ibo, please read the originial post: here

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