Reactions have continued to trail the defeat of Anthony Joshua, who lost his IBF, WBA and WBO titles to American Andy Ruiz Jr at the Madison Square Garden, New York, on Saturday.
While many Nigerians expressed optimism that Joshua could fight back, others wondered why the boxer, whose father is from Sagamu, was defeated by an unpopular boxer.
However, Joshua on his verified Twitter handle assured his fans that the defeat won’t distract him.
“The vision remains the same! Thank you to everyone who travelled,” he tweeted.
Reacting to his defeat, some Nigerians said they felt bad and shocked.
August Bones @Ausbones said, “I felt sad over Joshua’s loss. He is still my champion and like a phoenix, he shall rise again. As a Nigerian, I associated with him for so long in victory and now in defeat.”
“Great winners sometimes lose, Saturday was his turn. I believe he will do better next time,” Emmanuel Enyeribe added.
Nigerians were however divided on whether the match was real, fixed or stage-managed.
Terese Ninga said, “In my area, many people believe that this fight was a scam, that it was a fixed match, preparatory to a bigger rematch.”
“To me, I think it is not a match-fixing. He never rated Ruiz. He lost because he was overconfident. Getting a rematch is the shortest route for him to reclaim his titles. I don’t think he planned it this way,” another Nigerian, who identified himself as Samuel added.
Oyekoya Oluwatosin said, “He will surely get back his titles. Something is involved in this game though. He only lent Ruiz for a limited time.”
A lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Dr. Dele Omojuyigbe, argued that Joshua’s defeat shouldn’t be a shock to Nigerians.
He said, “Who can’t be beaten? And when did popularity and brawn start winning matches? How popular and muscular was Leon Spinks in 1978 when he beat taller and bigger Mohammed Ali, the defending champion? Ali who crushed stocky George Foreman in “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974 and mauled aggressive Joe Frazier in “Thriller in Manila” in 1975! So, what is the big deal in Anthony Joshua’s loss?
“Many comments on Joshua’s defeat expose Nigerians’ desperation to win in every contest. And that is one of the major problems confronting the country.”
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