WORLD heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua will be presenting the four title belts he won back last Saturday to President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Buhari later on this month.
Last Saturday, Joshua regained the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation, International Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation titles after beating Mexican-American Andy Ruiz in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. In a unanimous points decision, Joshua reclaimed the four belts he surprisingly lost to Ruiz in June when they met at Madison Square Gardens in New York.
During a cabinet meeting which took place in Abuja yesterday, sports minister Sunday Dare briefed ministers on how Joshua regained his titles from Ruiz in the clash dubbed Clash on the Dunes which took place at the Diriyah Arena. Joshua defeated Ruiz with the judges scoring the fight 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 in his favour after 12 rounds.
Laolu Akande, vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s spokesman, said: “The minister of sports announced that Anthony Joshua will be presenting his belts to the president in a matter of days. At today’s meeting, the Federal Executive Council members also expressed appreciation for the gift of books from the vice president which has become an annual tradition.”
Joshua is expected to return to London to defend his titles against Kubrat Pulev but his promoter Eddie Hearn has received numerous offers to stage future bouts elsewhere. Joshua, 30, said he began to dream of a fight in Nigeria, which would be the first time the continent has staged a world heavyweight title fight on the continent since 1974 when Mohammed Ali and George Foreman met in the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire.
He is expected to meet Pulev in a mandatory title defence in April or May before moving on to take on another commitment, possibly against Oleksandr Usyk, later in 2020. Both of Joshua’s parents are from Ogun State in Nigeria and the fighter made a bid to represent the country at the 2008 Olympics, only to be turned down by boxing officials.