The Federal Government has disclosed that Anthony Joshua, the newly crowned unified World Heavyweight Boxing Champion will soon be invited to Nigeria.
This was announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who said Nigeria is proud to be associated with the new champion in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday.
Lai Mohammed said the government has congratulated Joshua, the British professional boxer of Nigerian descent who recently defeated Ukranian Wladimir Klitschko to become the unified World Heavyweight Champion.
Quoting Joshua in a recent interview where he publicly acknowledged his Nigerian heritage, saying “My heart is in Nigeria, My heart is in Britain. I am a Nigerian man by blood, yes,” the Minister hailed the 27-year-old for his humility, despite his successful boxing career.
Lai Mohammed also extolled his “undying spirit, coming off the canvas after he was knocked down by Klitschko in the sixth round to win by a Technical Knock Out in the 11th round of their pulsating fight.”
In the meantime, Anthony Joshua’s launderette has disclosed that the boxing champion has an outstanding bill and owes him money.
Urging him to pay up, boss Max Bakhtari, the owner of a local dry cleaning shop in Finchley, where Joshua launders his clothes says the champion must now pay up his £120 tab after taking care of business in the ring.
“I was thinking about wiping the tab clean as a reward for him winning, but actually, he can afford to pay me now. I think we need the money more than he does.
“Seriously though, Anthony is such a nice guy and we love having him around the shop – he’s been coming here for about nine years now, well before he became a superstar.
“We look after all his training gear, all the stuff he has been wearing getting ready for the Klitschko fight.
“Either he or one of his friends will drop a bag off after he has trained and we wash all the gear. We also do the tailoring on it so it all fits properly,” Bakhtari said.
Earlier in a press conference after his Klitschko fight victory, Joshua had admitted that he still has an outstanding bill with his Finchley dry cleaning shop despite making £15million from his dramatic triumph at Wembley Stadium. But in reaction, Bakhtari, who runs three shops said:
“I can’t believe that he even mentioned his bill in the press conference, it’s been crazy since the story came out this morning. The publicity has been amazing, and it has come just at the right time because things have been hard recently.
“Anthony always settles his bills, though he has never tipped me! He does look after all the staff though, and it shows what a great guy he is.
“We know all the family well and he’s a real Mummy’s Boy, he would do anything for his mother. Even when my mum’s in the shop, he’ll go over to her, bow and ask how she is doing.
“He does things he doesn’t have to do and is a real example to see how people can change if they really want to.”
Born in Watford to a Nigerian mother and a British father of Nigerian and Irish descent, Joshua made his professional debut in 2013.
Some of his early years were spent in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State before he returned to the UK halfway through year seven to join Kings Langley Secondary School.
Growing up on the Meriden Estate in Garston, Hertfordshire, Joshua was called ‘Femi’ by his friends and former teachers.