Nigeria has opened its arms to 27-year-old WBA, IBF and IBO world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua after defeating former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko over the weekend.
The government said in a statement on Tuesday that it will invite the British-Nigerian boxer to the country for his association with Nigeria and humility.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed said in the statement that Joshua has been congratulated by the government.
Joshua has expressed willingness to do more to help his country of birth even though together with his mom, they are helping her village.
“I’m even trying out to get to meet the governor, and go and get something back to Nigeria, even though we do small things for the country between my family and my mother, we help out the village she came from and If I could do more on a large scale, I’ll definitely come down there and associate myself more with Nigeria,” he told a Nigerian sports journalist in an interview.
However, the government of Ogun State where his mother hails from is considering honouring the young boxer by naming a significant stadium and street after him.
A leader of the State House of Assembly Yinka Mafe told local media that a motion is being moved in the House to rename the Sagamu International Stadium to Anthony Joshua Stadium and also the Cinema Street to Anthony Joshua Street which is partly owned by Joshua’s family.
“The cinema, from which the road takes its name, was built by his great grandfather Omo-Oba Daniel Adebambo Joshua in the 50s, and is one of the oldest of such facilities in the country,” local media Daily Trust reported on Tuesday.
Anthony Joshua was born in Watford to a Nigerian mother and a British father of Nigerian and Irish descent. He has lived some parts of his life in Nigeria until his boxing debut in 2013.
Joshua expressed interest in representing Nigeria at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, but wasn’t selected.
He has since climbed the ladder to be the unified World Heavyweight Boxing Champion under the British flag.