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Joshua ready to ‘overcome’ career setbacks against Dillian Whyte

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Anthony Joshua has insisted he is getting his career on the right track ahead of his huge domestic showdown with Dillian Whyte next month.

The 33-year-old is looking to rebuild after successive losses against Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022. He returned to winning ways by outpointing Jermaine Franklin in April, but delivered a lacklustre performance that drew criticism from fans and pundits.

That fight was his first under new trainer Derrick James after Joshua decided to move away from home comforts to team up with the American in Texas.

Having failed to shine against Franklin, questions have been raised about whether the change in environment has benefitted Joshua.

The two-time world champion is happy with his current set-up, though, and feels he is doing everything right to get back to the top of the heavyweight division.

‘What’s beautiful about sports is there’s always a next opportunity to prove yourself, so no matter what happens, there’s a process that I’m following and I just know that if we look at history, everything will work out for me,’ he said.

‘I’ve just got to ride the wave, stay consistent, stay focused and when the opportunity presents itself… everyone can write you off, but if you believe in yourself and you continue on your journey, 100 per cent you will overcome.

‘Only you can defeat yourself. Not anyone else.’

Joshua claimed he would retire if he lost to Franklin, but he now appears to have no plans to hang his gloves up any time soon.

After making a name for himself as a knockout artist in the early stages of his professional career, Joshua has now gone almost three years without a stoppage win.

There are doubts about whether Joshua still has the spitefulness in him that saw him dominate boxing’s blue-riband division, but he believes he should not be written off just yet.

‘If I give up and I’m like, “Yeah, I haven’t got it anymore”, then you can say I’m not the same fighter. But I just know this is going to work,’ he continued.

‘People look at you like you’re crazy, which people probably think now, (asking) “why is he not being aggressive?” I just know what I’m doing is going to work at the right time.’

Joshua’s next test will come against fellow Brit Whyte at a sold-out O2 Arena on August 12.

Their first meeting in the professional ranks came eight years ago, with Joshua knocking Whyte out with a vicious uppercut in the seventh round.

Joshua is unsure whether Whyte has improved since, and has questioned why his rival has changed trainers so regularly in recent years, but admits it will not be an easy night’s work in the capital.

‘What Dillian lacks in certain areas, he makes up for in others. Has he improved? I don’t think he’s improved massively but he’s maintained his standard,’ Joshua concluded.

‘Look how many times he’s moved trainers. He’s moved trainers so many times. Maybe he’s not developing at the rate he needs to, or people aren’t teaching him the things he needs to learn and it’s not good enough. He probably knows it himself.

‘That’s probably why he’s moved trainers so much. I was thinking about this the other day. He was with Okoh, Tibbs, Xavier, Buddy McGirt, Johnathon Banks, but one thing that he has got is the fight and in America they call it the dog. He’s got the dog in him.’

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National Anti-Doping Bill 2024: Sports Minister applauds Tinubu’s foresightedness

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The Honourable Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh salutes President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for placing premium on the National Anti-Doping Bill , thereby giving the Nation a reputation.

The transmission of the Anti-doping Bill 2024 to the National Assembly and the accelerated passage of same remains a landmark achievement of this administration. It is a show of the courageous and bold leadership of the president, a final and appropriate response to the perennial issues of doping that have characterized Nigeria’s relationship with the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

Senator John Owan Enoh the sports minister always made it clear that this administration was greeted with WADA issuing a notice to ban Nigeria from International Competitions which degenerated to the point that the agency took Nigeria to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Amidst other non-compliant issues, the main challenge was Nigeria’s inability to domesticate the National Anti-doping Law and setting up a National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) as part of its obligation having signed the international convention in 1999.

“ for years,the country has grappled with meeting up to the expectations of the World Anti-Doping Organization ,despite being a foundational signatory for 25 years.
Nigeria has been in the eye of the storm due to its inability to domesticate the Anti-Doping Law with the backing of parliament.
I must thank our sports loving president for his foresight immediately the issues were brought before him .His foresight and actions have put the country on the right path in sports.
I also appreciate the National Assembly for the passage of the bill ,consideration and approval of the report of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters during plenary.
The county will no longer have doubts of its participation in global sporting events, eligibility to host sports competitions amongst other perennial issues” the Sports Minister said.

This welcome development comes weeks before the country’s participation at the Paris Olympics 2024.

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Bafana Bafana Must Fall, Sports Minister Charges Super Eagles

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Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, on Monday, rallied support of critical stakeholders and Nigerians for Finidi George,

With the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in full swing, the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has called on the Super Eagles to shift their focus from their recent African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and concentrate on the crucial task of securing a spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The Super Eagles are set to face Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Friday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, and Senator Enoh stated that Nigeria must approach the tie as a make-or-break one, as victory will put the team back on track for qualification.

“The FIFA World Cup is the biggest showpiece in football,” Senator Enoh emphasized. “We cannot afford to miss out on the World Cup again. The disappointment of missing the last tournament, especially after the disappointing home match against the Black Stars, must drive us to ensure we qualify this time.”

Senator Enoh urged all stakeholders, including players, coaches, and support staff, to be fully committed to the qualification campaign. “All hands must be on deck to ensure the team qualifies for the World Cup,” he stressed. “I urge the players to get the job done in the first half of the game by scoring early goals, so they are not under pressure in the second half.”

“The upcoming match against South Africa is critical,” Senator Enoh said. “The players need to put the AFCON glory behind them and concentrate fully on this task. Early goals will be key to taking control of the game and ensuring a less pressured second half.”

Senator Enoh concluded by expressing confidence in the Super Eagles’ ability to rise to the occasion and secure a much-needed victory. “We have the talent, the passion, and the support of millions of Nigerians. Let’s channel that into a winning performance and take a significant step towards World Cup qualification.”

The match will kick off at 8 p.m. local time on Friday, June 7, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo. Nigeria currently has two points from two games and sits third in their group of six teams.

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South Africa coach names Super Eagles winger as danger man ahead of WCQ

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South Africa coach, Hugo Broos, has named Super Eagles and Atalanta winger, Ademola Olajade Lookman as the danger man for Nigeria ahead of both teams’ clash this evening, Soccernet.ng reports.

Both sides met in the semi-final of the AFCON 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast, with the Super Eagles emerging victorious after 120 minutes of intense football. Stanley Nwabali was the hero, denying Bafana Bafana twice from twelve yards.

Lookman is a leading candidate for the CAF Player of the Year Award, after a stellar season with Atalanta, getting to the Copa Italia final, and scoring a hat-trick against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League final.

Broos, speaking in his presser ahead of their game against Nigeria, highlighted the Atalanta man as the threat for his side but admitted their focus as a team won’t be on the former Leicester City forward.

“Obviously, the (Nigeria) danger man is Ademola Lookman, but we are not focusing on that. We are focusing on our game, we have the ability and we have proven that at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire,” the Belgian said in quotes revealed by Score Nigeria.

Lookman is primed to step up for the Super Eagles of Nigeria against South Africa tonight, alongside Victor Boniface, after the Nigerian attackers enjoyed success with their European club sides this season.

Samuel Chukwueze is a doubt for Finidi George ahead of tonight’s game. The A.C. Milan right winger did not take part in the final training session of the Super Eagles.

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