Boxing Champion Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua was born in Watford in 1989 to a Nigerian mother and a British father of Nigerian and Irish descent. He is pictured above with his mum Yeta Odusanya, a social worker in London. Joshua still lives with his mum in council flat he bought in Golders Green, North London. Since London 2012 Olympics where he won a gold medal, he doesn’t allow his mum to watch his fights live for fear she might get him distracted. His father, Robert, watches him live though. Hear him: “I don’t really let my mum come to my fights, I’ve banned her. It’s not a place where you want to see your kid, I don’t think, at a fight. My dad can watch it, but not my mum”.
Anthony Joshua stops Wladimir Klitschko in 11th round to retain his IBF world heavyweight title and secure the WBA and IBO titles in epic fight. What a fight. What a day. At his age, Klitschko deserves some praise too. All hail boxing King Joshua. Nigerians rejoice with you. It is gratifying to also note that Joshua has a tattoo of map of Africa on his shoulder with map of Nigeria well shown.
Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko are slugging it out now at Wembly. Anthony Joshua seeking to add vacant WBA heavyweight title to IBF crown. Wladimir Klitschko aiming to become world champion for third time. 90,000 fans are watching live at Wembley Stadium with millions watching on TV across the world. Go our son Joshua! Nigeria is behind you….. but then Klitschko is tough.
Tributes have been paid to former Gabon international Moise Brou Apanga who died on Wednesday from a suspected heart attack. The 35-year-old collapsed during a training session with his Gabonese club FC 105 Libreville. He played for the Panthers at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 and 2012. “We played together, we played against each other but it was always a pleasure to play alongside you,” Gabon captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang posted. “Rest in peace my brother.” The Gabon Football Federation (FEGAFOOT) announced the news and also paid their own tribute. “The country has lost a brave son who has always given his best for the Gabonese flag,” FEGAFOOT wrote. “All our condolences to his family and team-mates.”
Manchester United will face Spanish side Celta Vigo in the semi-finals of the Europa League. The Premier League side have won the European Cup three times but have never triumphed in the continent’s secondary club competition. Dutch side Ajax, winners in 1992, come up against French club Lyon in the other last-four tie. The first legs will be played on 4 May with the second leg on 11 May, and the final in Stockholm, Sweden on 24 May.
Holders Real Madrid will face rivals Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League – a repeat of last year’s final. Zinedine Zidane’s side could become the first club to retain the trophy in the Champions League era in the final on 3 June in Cardiff. French side Monaco take on Italian club Juventus in the other last-four tie. The first legs will be played on 2 and 3 May, with the return legs taking place the following week.
Former England and Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu has died at the age of 44 after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham’s training centre on Thursday. A Spurs statement said Ehiogu died in hospital in the early hours of Friday. Ehiogu, who was Spurs’ Under-23s coach, was capped four times by England. “Words cannot express the shock and sadness that we all feel at the club,” said Tottenham’s head of coaching and development John McDermott. “Ugo’s immense presence will be irreplaceable.”
Former England and Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu is in hospital after collapsing at Tottenham’s training centre on Thursday. The 44-year-old, who is Spurs’ Under-23s coach, received medical treatment on site being transferred to hospital by ambulance, the Premier League club confirmed. “Everyone at the club sends their best wishes to Ugo and his family,” Tottenham added in a statement. Ehiogu has been at Spurs since 2014. He made over 200 appearances for Aston Villa between 1991 and 2000 before spending seven years at Middlesbrough. Ehiogu, who was capped four times by England, also played for West Brom, Leeds, Rangers and Sheffield United before retiring in 2009. Ehiogu is of Nigeria parentage.
Ex Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard will play for the club in an end-of-season friendly in Australia. The Reds will face A-League side Sydney FC at the ANZ Stadium on 24 May and former defender Jamie Carragher, 39, and ex-Anfield winger Steve McManaman, 45, both now television pundits, will also feature, along with Danish ex-defender Daniel Agger, 32. “I thought we have to show the whole LFC package – that means the actual squad and a few of our legends,” Jurgen Klopp explained. “They are still young enough and look good enough in the kit that we can show them.”
Maria Sharapova will find out on 15 May whether she can compete at the French Open after her drugs ban, French tennis officials said. They added that the absence of pregnant Serena Williams would have no bearing on their decision. Two-time Roland Garros champion Sharapova returns next week from a 15-month drugs ban at the WTA Stuttgart Grand Prix. Stuttgart offered the 30-year-old Russian a wildcard entry because she no longer has a world ranking. She has also been invited to clay-court events in Madrid and Rome.
Chelsea and Tottenham have both had four of their players named in the Professional Footballers’ Association Premier League team of the year. Defenders Gary Cahill and David Luiz and midfielders N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard are Chelsea’s representatives. Tottenham’s quartet are defenders Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, midfielder Dele Alli and forward Harry Kane. Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Everton forward Romelu Lukaku are also picked. The divisional teams of the year have also been announced ahead of the 44th PFA Awards, which are being held in London on Sunday, 23 April. The PFA Players’ Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year will also be revealed at the event.
World number two Serena Williams is pregnant and due in the autumn, her representative has confirmed. The 35-year-old had earlier posted a picture of herself on Snapchat posing in a mirror with the message: “20 weeks”, before deleting the post. The American, who won an Open-era record 23rd Grand Slam in Australia around 12 weeks ago, will miss the rest of the season. This includes three Grand Slams – the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. Williams, who will return to world number one next week, would be eligible to retain her ranking under the WTA special ranking rule if she is ready to play her first tournament within 12 months of giving birth. US Open Tennis responded to Williams’ message by saying: “Serena Williams will have a new pride and joy to hug and call her own soon! Congratulations on the exciting baby announcement!”
Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi would put in a transfer request to force a move to Manchester United, according to his agent. Representative Hakeem Bello says the chance to play for the Red Devils would be too good to turn down – should they come knocking. Ndidi has been a star performer for the Foxes this term and reports emerged yesterday of United’s interest. Bello has played down talk of his man leaving the King Power this summer, but he’s changed his tune today. Bello said: “Ndidi won’t say no to Manchester United. “I can proudly tell you that if a bid is launched for him, he will most likely ask Leicester City for a transfer. “We’re talking Manchester United, the biggest and most successful [club] in England. “That’s a no brainer. “Ndidi won’t turn down Man United, anyone willing to bet?”
A joint bid from the US, Canada and Mexico to host the enlarged 2026 World Cup is expected to be finalised this year for submission to FIFA, according to Victor Montagliani, the president of the region’s Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). Speaking to the Guardian before Saturday’s annual CONCACAF congress on the Caribbean island of Aruba, Montagliani contrasted the prospect of the countries’ cooperating on a World Cup with the division represented by the wall along the border with Mexico planned by Donald Trump. “Canada, the US and Mexico are aiming for a joint bid, the idea has been around for a while, discussions are continuing and it is a very exciting proposition if it comes to fruition,” Montagliani said. “We have had nothing but positive remarks about it and it is a very strong sign of what football can do to bring countries together.”
The one year countdown is on, and to celebrate the occasion, the schedule for next year’s Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast has been announced. Women’s triathlon will be the first gold medal to be won on the Games’ opening day – Thursday, 5 April 2018. The men’s and women’s 100m finals are on day five, while the rugby sevens will bring events to a close on 15 April 2018.
Nike and Cristiano Ronaldo have launched a new pair of boots – named Chapter 4: Forged for Greatness – and they tell the story of his journey from Lisbon to Manchester. The roman numerals XXVIII feature on the heel stiffener, with the VII highlighted to depict his swapping of Sporting CF’s No.28 shirt for Manchester United’s No.7. “I remember when I left Lisbon for England that Alex Ferguson said to me, ‘I want you to take the No.7’,” the Real Madrid forward recalled. “I accepted the challenge, it was great and it was the beginning of my success in football. “Probably one of the most beautiful moments in my career so far.” The colour of the boots also has a special significance, as they are a nod to the way iron is forged, with the orange gradually becoming a metallic colour.
Leicester are worried Arsenal and Manchester United will lure midfield ace Wilfred Ndidi away from the King Power Stadium. Ndidi has been branded “the new N’Golo Kante ” after his stunning turn in performances have flung the Foxes up the Premier League table. The central midfielder snubbed the Gunners’ advances in the summer before the Foxes pushed through a deal in January, but could reopen their interest when the window opens. Leicester signed the Nigerian for £17m from Genk to fill the hole left by omnipresent Kante – who joined Chelsea in the summer.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has re-appointed Kwesi Appiah as the coach of the Black Stars. Appiah, who will also take charge of the national team for locally-based players, has been offered a two-year contract to start work 1 May. He replaces Avram Grant who stepped down as coach after the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. It is a second stint in charge for Appiah, who led the Black Stars from 2012 until 2014. Since leaving the Black Stars following a poor World Cup campaign, he has been coaching Sudanese side Al Khartoum. The Black Stars failed to get out of the group at the World Cup in Brazil and were also beset by off-field problems with players being expelled from the team and a row over pay.
Nigerian striker, Peter Osaze Odemwingie, has joined the league of players heading to play club football in Indonesia. Odemwingie on Monday after a successful medical was signed on to Indonesian first division club, Madura United FC. The club on Monday confirmed the signing of Odemwingie as a marquee player for the 2017 League 1 season. The 35-year old became the third high profile signing after the duo of Micheal Essien and Carlton Cole also joined Indonesian first division club.