youths in Sagamu in Ogun State have called for the new world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua to build a gymnasium in the town.
The British-born Nigerian boxer’s 11th-round stoppage of veteran Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley on Saturday stirred up emotions in Sagamu, where his parents come from.
Ever since then, Joshua’s feat has been a constant subject of discussion in Sagamu, with boxing now a very popular sport in the town in the spotlight.
Speaking with our correspondent, who visited the town on Wednesday, the Public Relations Officer of the Sagamu Youth Congress Oso Ayodele said youths in the town were in dire need of a gymnasium to boost boxing in the area.
He said the youths in the town love sports and would be glad if Joshua could help them develop the land meant for a gymnasium in the town.
“We have a boxing tournament we hold every year, but we don’t have a boxing gym,” Ayodele, who spoke on behalf of the youths in the town, said.
“We will be happy if Anthony Joshua can help us build a boxing gym. We have two plots of land lying idle at the Sagamu Civic Centre.”
Members of the world champion’s family in Sagamu also urged him to build a gymnasium in the town.
His uncle Adedamola Joshua, who spoke on behalf of the family on Wednesday, said they were not interested in the £15m he pocketed for winning the fight. But he urged the boxer to build a boxing gymnasium to discover more Anthony Joshuas from the town.
He also said the 27-year-old should set up a branch of his sportswear company in Sagamu.
Adedamola said, “Concerning your good question as to whether we are expecting a portion from the prize money won by our son, I will say that we are not expecting that.
“The family is comfortable, we have landed property that fetch us rent. All we want from him is for him to bring the franchise of his company to Nigeria, specifically to Sagamu.
“We learnt that he owns a sportswear cloth line, the sportswear he uses are from his company. So, bring it to Sagamu, and this will create employment for the youths.
“Again, as a boxer, he should establish a boxing gym here also to get the youths of this town positively engaged.”
He said it would not be out of place for the Federal Government to consider the boxer for the National Merit Award among others honours.
Adedamola said, “We do not want to dictate to the federal or the state governments on what specific things they should do to honour our son.”