by Linda Ikeji
World heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, has debunked reports that he was not given the opportunity to represent Nigeria at the Olympic Games in 2008.
Recall there were several unconfirmed reports that Joshua, had reached out to the Nigerian boxing authorities to represent the country at the Beijing Games, but was rejected because the trials had been concluded when he made his interest.
The 31-year-old, born in the UK to his Nigerian parents, went ahead to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games and won a gold medal.
Speaking in an interview with Punch, Joshua debunked the reports that he was denied the opportunity to represent Nigeria
According to him, if he was interested in representing Nigeria, he would have been given the opportunity.
“I honestly can’t remember, I would have represented Nigeria, I represented Great Britain, I had no problem competing for Great Britain at that time, it was easy.
“I am sure Nigeria would have accepted me as well. I don’t think I have any issue, none that I can remember, but definitely I would have competed for Nigeria as well. Nigeria would have definitely opened their arms and supported me for sure.”
Anthony Joshua will be back in the ring for the first time in 12 months to take on IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev for the heavyweight world titles at the SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday, December 12.
The Briton last defeated Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia to claim back the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts he lost to the same opponent at Madison Square Garden in June 2019.