With 17 victories, 16 by knockouts, undefeated Nigerian heavyweight boxer, Onoriode Ehwarieme has never hidden his resolve to be ranked among the ‘big boys’ in the heavyweight category in the world. To achieve his ambition, for the umpteenth time he his throwing a challenge to the two most popular boxers in the division- Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
Undefeated Nigerian heavyweight boxer, Onoriode Ehwarieme, has maintained his belief that he is ready to take on the top dogs of the heavyweight division and has always called out unbeaten world champion, Anthony Joshua.
The 6’9 tall heavyweight has declared his availability to take on all comers as well as WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder. He had earlier stated he was the man who sent Joshua packing back to England when the British-born fighter with Nigerian roots came down to the West African country in an attempt to represent them at the 2008 Olympic Games.
In a chat with THISDAY, former Nigerian Olympian and now a boxing coach, Jeremiah Okorodudu is backing Ehwarieme’s resolve to take on Wilder and Joshua, saying he was more than ripe enough for such an ambition.
“Ehwarieme is an Olympian to start with and he has won most of bouts by knockouts. It is a good thing that he is now coming out to challenge Wilder and Joshua and he stands a very good chance against any of them. He is more than ripe enough to fight any of them because he is a very good boxer,” Okorodudu said.
Continuing, the Los Angeles ’84 Olympian said since his managers were people who know their onions it would not be too difficult to get him such a high calibre fight.
“I have trained him before and I know his potentials. He is a very powerful boxer, but few people are giving him a chance because he is a Nigerian,” Okorodudu noted.
Joshua, 21-0, 20 KO’s is the unified WBO, IBF and WBA Heavyweight Champion after previously winning gold for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympic Games during his amateur days, but according to Ehwarieme, Joshua whose parents are both of Nigerian descent had tried to compete for a place on Nigeria’s boxing team to the 2008 Olympic Games during a short stay in Ijebu Ode in Ogun State, Nigeria.
“I should have fought Joshua in the amateur qualifiers in 2008 when I heard he wanted to compete but he didn’t show up. I didn’t get the opportunity to knock him out as an amateur so I will knock him out as a professional. He will not last eight rounds with me,” Ehwarieme had earlier stated.
“I want to beat both Joshua and Wilder to take the titles from them, yes that’s my mission and I intend to execute it. I will knock them out one by one, I’m going to be the champion of the world,” Ehwarieme who now stays in the United States boasted.
He is yet to take his fight in the US of course, but Ehwarieme is a well-travelled man and has already fought on three continents after making his debut in Indonesia in 2010, proceeded to fight in Ghana and later his native Nigeria before embarking on a five-fight stint in Argentina in 2016 and 2017. His last fight was back in Nigeria, a round 4 TKO victory over Kofi Johnson of Ghana at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on 29 April, 2018.
Now that he’s in America, Ehwarieme insists the time was ripe for him to finally follow in the footsteps of his idol, “The Nigerian Nightmare” – Samuel Peter who won the WBC world heavyweight title in 2008 before losing it to Vitali Klitschko in his first defence.
Peter also later lost to the other Klitschko brother, Wladimir in 2010 for all of the IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts but Ehwarieme insists he will make amends soon by bringing the world title back home to Nigeria. “Bring em on”!
“Samuel Peter is my motivation, he is the reason I’m in boxing. I was not happy when the Klitschkos defeated him to take his title away and I always targeted Klitschko before he retired. So if it’s Joshua and Wilder who now have the titles, I will take them down for Samuel Peter,” Ehwarieme had said.
“I’m assuring my fans in Nigeria and other countries that very soon I will bring them the world title, I will make them very proud. They should expect the world title from me, I will win the world title and present it to the president of Nigeria and make my king Ehwarieme very happy,” Ehwarieme added.