World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Universal Champion, Leati Joseph Anoa’i, popularly known Roman Reigns, had on Monday relinquished his title after announcing that his leukaemia had returned.
At the Monday Night Raw event, Roman Reigns said, “My real name is Joe, and I’ve been living with leukaemia for 11 years,” Anoa’i said, in front of the crowd at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, reports Kwese ESPN.
“And, unfortunately, it’s back. And because the leukaemia is back, I cannot fulfill my role — I can’t be that fighting champion — and I’m going to have to relinquish the Universal championship. I want to make one thing clear: By no means is this a retirement speech. Because after I’m done whipping leukaemia’s ass once again, I’m coming back home.”
The WWE later sent out a news release with a few additional details on Anoa’i’s condition. The organisation revealed that Roman Reigns is taking a leave of absence from WWE as he once again fights leukaemia, which had been in remission since late 2008,” the WWE said in the statement.
“Reigns is taking his battle with leukaemia public in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research in order to advance cures for the disease,” the statement concluded.
Anoa’i last performed in a WWE ring October 15, in the main event of “Monday Night Raw.”
It’s unclear when Anoa’i received the diagnosis that his leukaemia had returned.