Boxing-Nigeria: Sagamu backs Anthony Joshua against Francis Ngannou

Anthony Joshua
Boxing-Nigeria: Sagamu backs Anthony Joshua against Francis Ngannou


The rivalry between Nigeria and Cameroon is one of the red threads in African sport. It will be put to the test once again this Friday, March 08, in the boxing match between Cameroon's Francis Ngannou and Britain's Anthony Joshua. The latter will be supported by some 500,000 residents of Sagamu, a Nigerian town in the south-west of the country, near Lagos.

Anthony Joshua has an entire Nigerian town behind him

The fight between Francis Ngannou and Anthony Joshua is on everyone's lips. The two colossuses face off this Friday, March 08, in Saudi Arabia in a confrontation that is likely to create sparks. On the African continent, while almost everyone is backing the Cameroonian, there's at least one place that's taking up the cause of the Briton: the town of Sagamu. Located in Nigeria, this is the land of Joshua's ancestors. And for them, nothing could be more logical than to support one of their own. In fact, the local population has created a fan club dedicated to him (founded in 2016), to show their affection for the 34-year-old fighter. A road bears his name.

In Sagamu, Anthony Joshua's fights are broadcast live on screens set up for the occasion in front of the palace of the Akarigbo family, rulers of the region. The boxer, born of a Nigerian mother and an Irish-Nigerian father, has never concealed his affiliation with Nigeria and the African continent. He even sports a tattoo from the continent. Joshua also spent part of his childhood in the land of the Super Eagles. This helped him to imbibe certain values. Osiberu, a local resident, tells BBC Sport Africa. "AJ is level-headed and committed to what he does. He's very humble and doesn't let his success go to his head. Beyond that, he likes to connect with his roots. We wish him all the best and will continue to pray for him."

Ngannou's no match

Raymond Ajakaye, another Sagamu resident, agrees. "We all have a strong bond, even if we don't meet regularly and his returns home have not been frequent due to his career. He's a child with a lot of respect and he's well brought up, with respect for his elders". Kayode Segun-Okeowo, president of the Anthony Joshua fan club, assures us that Francis will not be up to the task.

"My expectations for his next fight are positive. Joshua has beaten better boxers. I can't see him (Ngannou) beating our own Anthony Joshua." Sagamu is therefore convinced that his son will get the better of Ngannou. Answer on March 08.



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