By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari says by retaining his IBF, WBA, and WBO titles, Anthony Joshua has given boxing lovers around the world, and particularly in Nigeria, something to cheer.
Mr 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.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World boxing heavyweight champion Joshua had knocked out Bulgarian Pulev near the end of the ninth round on Saturday to retain his IBF, WBO and WBA belts.
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 upper-cut 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.