Anthony Joshua: fighting for Britain but fuelled by Nigeria | Chibundu Onuzo

The champion’s origins are spelt out in his tattoo and his liking for pounded yam and egusi. But while he’s on the rise the British press probably won’t report it

World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua’s middle name is Oluwafemi. To those in the know, no other proof of his Nigerian heritage is needed: Femi is a common Yoruba name. There is also a map of Africa tattooed on one of Joshua’s large biceps, in which the outline of Nigeria is fetchingly highighted.

Joshua once attributed his success to frequent ingestion of pounded yam and egusi soup, a popular Nigerian dish. He said it with a laugh, but nothing could be more serious. Those muscles were not grown on fish and chips alone: ask John Boyega, another muscular pounded-yam and egusi eater.

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