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Sports stars praise Joshua





Festus Abu

African sports stars have join their foreign counterparts in heaping praise on Anthony Joshua after  the British-born Nigerian stopped  Alexander Povetkin in the seventh  round to retain  his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight crowns  at Wembley on Saturday.

Former Nigeria captain Nwankwo Kanu, ex-Nigeria attacker Osaze Odemwingie and French-born Ivorian Manchester City star Benjamin Mendy took to social media to express their excitement about  Joshua’s sensational knockout victory over  his 39-year-old Russian opponent to land his 22nd professional win.

Joshua, 28, thus emerged as the second man to beat Povetkin, who was beaten in Moscow in 2013 by Wladimir Klitschko.

But Joshua posted a classic victory over Ukrainian Klitschko in April 2017

Former world champion Oscar De La Hoya, NBA star Stephen Curry, heavyweight world champion David Haye and British boxing trainer Adam Booth who also reacted said Joshua deserved his win.

“Congratulations champ @anthonyfjoshua,”   Arsenal legend Kanu, who represented Nigeria at the France ’98, Korea/Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010 World Cups, wrote on his Twitter account.

His former Super Eagles teammate Odemwingie, who represented  his country at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, wrote, “Good fight. [email protected]”

The Indonesia-based player, who represented Nigeria at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, added, “Colours that are in my heart forever. If I don’t come to Wembley today (Saturday)  who will?”

Mendy, who watched the fight, got hold of  Joshua’s two  belts and took to social media to share the selfie with his Instagram followers.

He  wrote, “Just when you thought I didn’t win enough trophies in 2018.”

Haye  told iFL TV, “Anthony Joshua showed something he’s never really needed to show before.

“He rose to the occasion, waited for the opportunity, the jab to the body was killing Povetkin.”

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