By retaining his IBF, WBA, and WBO titles, Anthony Joshua has given boxing lovers around the world, and particularly in Nigeria, something to cheer, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said Buhari made his feelings known while celebrating the decisive victory of the Nigerian-born boxer over Kubrat Pulev on Saturday night.
The president recalled his meeting with the heavyweight champion in London earlier in the year, describing Joshua as a humble, well brought up young man, “who will still go places.”
Buhari wished Joshua all the best in his dream fight against Tyson Fury, saying he has the prayers and goodwill of Nigerians.
Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has also hailed Joshua after his ninth-round knockout victory over Kubrat Pulev at the SSE Arena in London early on Sunday.
The win is Joshua’s first defence of his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO titles since regaining them from Andy Ruiz in December 2019.
Reacting to the win, Dabiri-Erewa tweeted, “congratulations.”
The 31-year-old Nigerian-born Briton was close to winning when he floored Pulev in the third round after a sweet right hand at the Wembley Arena in London. But the challenger recovered to test the home favourite in front of a limited crowd of 1,000.
Pulev, 39, remained dangerous, without causing Joshua many anxious moments, but there was no escape in the ninth round. Joshua landed a clubbing right uppercut which sent Pulev to the canvas.
The Bulgarian got back to his feet but Joshua connected with another huge right hand to end the contest.
The win for Joshua has set up a possibility of an all-British fight with WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury.
The much-anticipated clash with Fury is expected to take place in 2021.
In a post-match interview, Joshua said he is determined to beat Fury to win the world heavyweight unification bout.
Joshua, who said his next target is Tyson Fury, expressed confidence in his boxing ability.
The Nigerian-British fighter added, “Whoever has got the belt, I want the belt. If that is Tyson Fury, let it be!”