Nigerians React as Joshua is King Again
By Ufuoma Egbamuno
From the streets of Sagamu to Sokoto; Port Harcourt to Potiskum; or make that Markudi to Minna; Nigerians are super excited after one of their own, Anthony Joshua reclaimed the IBF, WBA and WBO Heavyweight titles in a stunning victory over Andy Ruiz.
Joshua reclaimed the titles on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia after 12 rounds in the much anticipated battle.
TWO TIME pic.twitter.com/CutWIGDfD8— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) December 7, 2019
It was a well-deserved win for the British born – with Nigerian heritage - boxer who had to come down to the streets of Lagos, Makoko to be precise, to rekindle his fire after the shocking loss to Ruiz earlier in the year.
Joshua in Makoko, Lagos. Pic via skysports.com
“People were baffled that we went there,” Joshua told Skysports. “It is the ghetto.”
But it was all the inspiration Joshua needed even when things got a bid hard on Saturday night in the 8th round. Ruiz produced some of the punches that ensured the Mexican won the first fight that shocked the world.
But on Saturday, Joshua would have none of that. He drew blood from the early exchanges but that right hand in the final round was good enough to finish the job and make him ‘The King’ once again.
Sports Minister, Sunday Dare leads the cast of reactions from Nigerians noting that he was “Proud of” Joshua’s “Nigerian heritage.”
A shout out to Anthony Joshua. Proud of your Nigerian heritage and best wishes for a victorious fight tonight.— Sunday Dare (@SundayDareSD) December 7, 2019
Anthony Joshua ! pic.twitter.com/FhJZlYMlqA— Sunday Dare (@SundayDareSD) December 7, 2019
Another government representative, Nigeria’s Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, went the philosophical route.
The stunning comeback of Anthony Joshua reaffirms the fact that winners are not those who are too strong to fail or fall; it is rather those who possess the ability to dust themselves up and rise again each time they fail or fall, because failure sometimes occur even to winners— Festus Keyamo, SAN (@fkeyamo) December 7, 2019
But actress Uche Jombo just could not hide her excitement on a night some of her other sports favourites reigned supreme.
For one of Nigeria’s finest sports commentator and Nigeria Info correspondent, Emmanuel Etim, the bout was “not a boxing Masterclass.”
Not a boxing Masterclass, but the essence made manifest.— Emmanuel Etim (@Emiearth) December 7, 2019
Well done AJ! Appreciate gentleman Ruiz for being a fine sport.
Etim isn’t alone in the chain of thought. Nigeria Info Sports Anchor, Chuma Nnoli insists Joshua’s performance against Ruiz is not the “type of display that would beat Deontay Wilder.”
Just like Mayweather did against Pacquiao— #BookOfAHundredRhymes (@ChumaNnoli) December 7, 2019
Anthony Joshua's priority was to win the fight no matter the tactics.
Good he's regained his belts but this is not the type of display that would beat Deontay Wilder.
Hopefully, this was just a strategy for Ruiz.#RuizJoshua2
Well, Chuma, hold on to that thought. For now, all we want to do is celebrate The King with loads of congratulatory messages. Wilder or whoever he is fighting next can sure take a backseat today.
Naija power pic.twitter.com/Qg4uMIwflp— Senator Dino Melaye. (SDM) (@dino_melaye) December 7, 2019
Ruiz congrats to u too.. new NBG member #Mafo 🏆👊🏾— nairamarley (@officialnairam1) December 7, 2019
Anthony Joshua totally SHUT RUIZ OUT the entire 12 rounds. Welldone AJ #JoshuaRuiz2— SHERIFF QUADRY (@SheriffQuadry) December 7, 2019