The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare has congratulated British-Nigerian boxing champion, Anthony Joshua for defeating his opponent, Jermaine Franklin in an international bout on Saturday.
In a statement on Sunday, Dare said the former world heavyweight boxing champion fought like a lion to defeat his American challenger.
Joshua defeated Franklin by unanimous decision at the 02 Arena in London to get the crucial win in his first fight since his September 2022 loss to Oleksandr Uysk in Saudi Arabia.
The minister praised him for keeping alive the “never-say-die’’ spirit for which Nigeria is known.
Dare said; “The former world champion demonstrated the heart of a lion in the encounter and his victory was well-deserved.’’ Dare stated in his congratulatory message.
“You never gave up. With an undying spirit, you clutched victory when it mattered most. We will continue to cheer you on.’’
However, Joshua told talkSPORT after the match that despite winning, he was disappointed with his performance.
“I am a bit disappointed. But it’s for the fans, however they felt, however the fans felt is what I feel because I’m here for them. It wasn’t a knockout and the people are bored of 12-rounders, it’s annoying.”
Interestingly, more drama occurred after the final bell, as Joshua almost triggered a mass brawl with Franklin’s team before they were separated by security.
“You don’t really want to start scrapping in the ring, but it’s a f***ing fight. It’s so different in this ring, people don’t understand. I think you saw it in Saudi, it’s really different in the ring and I’ve got to learn to control certain aspects of who I am as a professional,” Joshua said, as he addressed the incident.