By Victor Kanayo
The Nigerian Government says heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua, UFC fighter Kamaru Usman and the women’s national U20 football team, the Falconets should not allow their defeats over the weekend dampen their spirits.
Nigerian/British born Joshua and Usman lost World Title bouts in boxing and mixed martial arts, while the Falconets crashed out of the FIFA U20 Women World Cup at the quarter final stage.
Nigerian Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare while reacting to the chain of disappointing outings told Heritage Times HT on Monday that inspite of their losses, they can keep their heads up because they gave their best and performed gallantly.
He said, “Nigeria is still proud of them and they remain national heroes and heroines, believing they will bounce back again, stronger and better.
“Nigerians should rally round the trio and help quicken the process of their recovery because when they were on top, they made Nigeria proud and even at this time of their losses and setback, they are still national heroes and heroines who deserve to be supported.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians took to social media to react to the defeat after the former champion lost his chance to regain the titles from Usyk in Saudi Arabia.
African Women’s Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala, sympathised with Joshua’s loss and voiced her continued support for him, writing, “I felt AJ had like 2 occasions where he could’ve gone in for a KO but he was too tired. Omo na we wey no too understand the sport Dey analyze pass….. Anyway, we are coming back, Naija for life still.”
Florence Otedola, popularly known as DJ Cuppy, added, “So proud of Femi! With or Without belts, always my Champ. Oh and before I forget, F*ck the haters!”
Former BBNaija housemate, Erica Nlwedim, showed her support for the two-time heavyweight champion writing, “Anthony Joshua you’re still a champion.”
Kehinde Oluwayemi reacted to the backlash Joshua got from boxing fans in the media and encouraged Joshua not to give up.