A former boxing champion Jeremiah Okorodudu, has revealed how new world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was rejected by the Nigerian Boxing Federation before the 27-year-old went to box for Britain.
Speaking in an interview with The Sun (UK), Okorodudu revealed,
“Joshua was in Nigeria once to connect with his roots and I think that was in 2007. He wanted a chance to compete for trials ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics qualifiers, but he was denied and not given a chance.
Disappointed, he went back to England to represent Great Britain.
“He went on to win a gold that could have been a first for Nigeria at the Olympics.
“If only they had allowed him to compete for Nigeria, that gold would have been a Nigerian gold and not Great Britain’s.”
Another Nigeria coach at the time, Adegboyega Adeniji-Adele also confirmed the fact that Joshua was at the Nigerian camp.
“Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua is his name and his family come from Ogun state in Nigeria.
“When he visited, his intention was to represent Nigeria at the Olympics but he was denied in the trials. He had no other option than to go to Britain.
“It’s Nigeria’s loss, Britain’s gain. Personally, I feel sad that they let him go and those people should be made to explain why it was impossible to give him a chance.”