Heavyweight Boxing Champion Anthony Joshua has drawn flaks ford for citing Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent sexual assault issues with a woman as one of this reason for closing the five-time Balloon d’Or winner as his sporting hero.
34-year-old Ronaldo was accused of having carnal knowledge of Kathryn Mayorga, an American model, without her consent at a Las Vegas hotel back in 2009, with the Juventus star still facing an ongoing probe.
Although the lady in question claims she was handed $375,000 to keep mum at the time the incident occurred, and a warrant issued early in the year for Ronaldo’s DNA, the Juventus playmaker insists it was a consensual affair.
Although the 29-year-old Joshua, has not been involved in controversial circumstances in his boxing career, but a promotional event ahead of the defence of his International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organisation heavyweight titles against Jarrell Miller on June 1, appear to have dragged out Joshua following his allegations against the Portuguese star.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is my sporting hero. I’ve always said two things you’d get f—– for as an athlete is women and tax, he’s got f—– for both and he’s still smiling, still strong.
“You need mental strength, he’s proved that. He’s a family man, he’s got that aspect, but still out working and he’s dedicated to what he does. So as a sportsman he’s had the issue of one side, he’s got the family on the other side, and he balances what he’s passionate about. He completes all the packages, so I like Ronaldo for that reason,” Joshua was quoted as saying during the event
In a related development, Katie Russell, who doubles as national spokeswoman for Rape Crisis England and Wales faulted Joshua for making unguarded comment without regards to the gravity of the issues.
“It’s inappropriate, insensitive and disrespectful to make jokes or flippant remarks about allegations or instances of sexual violence and abuse in any context.”
“Arguably, those in the public eye, who may be considered a role model to many, including impressionable young people, have a particular responsibility not to trivialise such serious issues.
“Experiences of sexual violence and abuse can have wide-ranging and long-term impacts on victims’ and survivors’ health, lives and relationships. As a society, we need to develop more empathy and understanding about that if we are ever to see more of those impacted by sexual violence and abuse get the support they need, want and deserve,” Russell submitted.
According to report, Anthony Joshua’s world title defence fight has emerged highest-grossing pre-sale boxing event at Madison Square Garden despite the arena not revealing the figure.
Boxing fans are keen on seeing the Nigerian-born boxer fight against the unbeaten Miller in America and have succeeded in breaking the pre-sale ticket record within 120 minutes of commencing sale.