After beating Cameroon-born French boxer, Carlos Takam in Saturday’s WBA and IBF world title fight in Cardiff, Wales, Nigerian-born British heavyweight boxer, Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua is set to pay a visit to his ancestral home, Sagamu, Ogun State.
As Joshua was busy punching his challenger, Takam before a large crowd of 76,600 spectators in Cardiff, where he technically knocked out the Camerounian in the 10th round, his family members, friends and well wishers in his ancestral home gathered at Baba Josh Memorial Hall in Sagamu. With a giant screen provided by Kwese Free Sports, Africa’s largest sports channel, the people of Sagamu were connected to the rest of the world for live broadcast of the heavyweight title fight.
As they did when Joshua took on Wladimr Klitschko in heavyweight blockbuster in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley in April, the people offered prayers for their beloved son before the explosive fight against a resilient Takam. As the referee stopped the bout in the 10th round for Joshua to retain his title, bringing his career record to 20 victories in 20 fights, the entire people of Sagamu took to the streets in the middle of the night, singing and dancing.
This fight coincided with Sagamu Day, an annual celebration of life by Sagamu residents where praise and rituals are offered to the gods of the land. Among those who watched the bout at Baba Josh Memorial Hall was Joshua’s uncle, Mr. David Oyedola Joshua, who described the victory as ‘memorable day’ not only for his family, but the entire people of Sagamu, Ogun State and Nigeria in general.
Speaking with The Guardian shortly after the bout, an elated Joshua said: “We are all happy with our son’s victory over Takam because a lot had been said about this fight. We are glad that it ended in victory for Oluwafemi.”
Continuing, Joshua disclosed that with the successful defence of his title against Takam, the Nigerian-born boxer would visit Nigeria soon. “After his victory against Klitschko, Anthony actually told us that he would visit Nigeria to see his people. But he has been very busy preparing for defence of his title. Now that he has successfully done that, Anthony will come to Nigeria before the end of December. We are in touch with him and his coming will be a great carnival for the entire people of Sagamu. I want our government to name a street and a stadium after him,” Joshua stated.
Meanwhile, the management of Kwese Pay TV says it would continue to associate with Anthony Joshua. “We are the exclusive African broadcaster for all Anthony Joshua’s fights, and we are very proud of him.”
General Manager Kwese Free Sports Nigeria, ChiChi Nwoko said: “We pride ourselves on broadcasting nothing but the best in international and African sporting action. We will continue to provide exclusive broadcast of Joshua fight. We are happy to see one of our own retaining his unbeaten track record. Kwese TV is the only pan-African and local sports channel in Nigeria with exclusive rights to the fight.”
Apart from the live show in Sagamu, Joshua’s ancestral home, Kwesé Free Sports also thrilled boxing fans with live broadcast of the fight on UHF 32 in Lagos.
It would be recalled that the Camerounian heavyweight and former Olympian, Takam, appeared for the contest against Joshua following Kubrat Pulev’s unexpected withdrawal due to a shoulder injury.