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AMOSUN, DALUNG, MUHAMMED OTHERS TO CHEER ANTHONY JOSHUA FIGHT

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The Governor of Ogun state, IbIkunle Amosun and the Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung are among a top Nigerian government delegation who will be at the ringside on Saturday night to cheer Anthony Joshua against Cameroonian-French Carlos Takam in an IBF and WBA challenge billed for the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed is also on the Federal Government’s entourage.

This move which was at the behest of the Ogun State Government is geared at supporting the reigning IBF champion who hails from Sagamu when he faces the former WBC Silver heavyweight champion.

Takam replaced Joshua’s original challenger Kuburat Pulev who made a last minute withdrawal following a shoulder injury.

Nigeria last month eliminated Carlos Takam’s native country, Cameroon from the 2018 World Cup.

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Dalung said that with the two Nigeria and Cameroon having a healthy rivalry in the sporting world, Nigerians will be happy if Anthony Joshua defeats the Abuja 2003 All-Africa Games bronze medallist.

“Of recent, Nigeria has enjoyed the upper hand against its West African neighbours Cameroon. The Super Falcons defeated the Indomitable Lioness in their backyard to claim the 2015 CAF Africa Women Cup of Nations.

Few weeks ago, the senior men’s basketball team beat Cameroon to advance to the semi finals of the FIBA Africa Cup Championship.

The success of the Super Eagles against the Indomitable Lions where they snatched four points from the available six to eliminate Cameroun from the 2018 World Cup is still fresh in our memories.

“Another win by Anthony Joshua will confirm our superiority and how far our sportsmen have gone in recent years.”

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A confident Joshua who took part in Wednesday’s open workout session at the St David’s Hall in Cardiff has promised to give his fans something to cheer about as he defends his world titles.

Despite being a last minute replacement for Pulev, Joshua will not be expecting an easy ride against Takam who has recorded 35 wins and just three losses in the 39 fights as a professional since 2005.

“I will be conveying the goodwill message of President Muhammadu Buhari to him when I see him after the fight. It is imperative for him to understand how much the government and the people of Nigeria are proud of his achievements as our son.”

The current unified world heavyweight champion, having held the IBF title since 2016, and the WBA (Super) and IBO titles since April 2017 boasts of a flawless professional record of 19 fights, 19 victories and all of them coming through knockouts.

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Usyk-Fury heavyweight rematch set for Dec. 21 in Saudi Arabia

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The heavyweight rematch between undisputed world champion Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury will take place on Dec. 21 in Saudi Arabia, according to the advisor who organizes boxing events in the kingdom.

Turki Alalshikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, confirmed the date of the fight on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday. He said it will take place in Riyadh, the location of the first fight on May 19.

“The world will watch another historical fight again,” he wrote. “Our commitment to boxing fans continues … We hope you enjoy it.”

Usyk became the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000 when he defeated Fury by split decision, earning a narrow win on two scorecards. The 37-year-old Ukrainian is the first heavyweight to hold every major title belt since Lennox Lewis.

It was Fury’s first loss as a professional.

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-AP

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Furious Fury to clash again with Usyk in October

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All hope is not lost for Tyson Fury who lost his WBC heavyweight championship belt to Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia early this Sunday morning.

Both boxer had agreed before the unification bout that the loser of their fight would be eligible to trigger a rematch.

Owing to the two-way rematch clause, there will be a second showdown. As for a date, nothing is set in stone. The hopeful Saudi boxing chief Turki Alalshikh confirmed that a rematch is likely to go ahead on 12th/13th October 2024, not taking into account exceptional circumstances such as injuries or unforeseen events.

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Sympathy for Ukraine behind Usyk’s heavyweight win, says Fury

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Heavyweight Tyson Fury said sympathy for Ukraine was behind the judges’ awarding a split-decision victory to Oleksandr Usyk in their heavyweight title fight on Sunday, with the Briton calling for an immediate rematch.

After cruising through the middle of the fight, Fury never recovered from a standing eight count in the ninth round, and the judges gave the fight to Usyk, making him the first undisputed heavyweight champion in almost 25 years.

“I believe I won that fight. I believe he won a few of the rounds but I won the majority of them …. His country’s at war, and people are siding with the country at war, but make no mistake, I won that fight,” Fury said in a post-fight interview in the ring.

Ukraine has been fighting a Russian invasion that started more than two years ago.

“I’ll be back. I’ve got a rematch clause,” the previously undefeated Fury added, with promoter Frank Warren saying in the ring another fight between the two was a certainty.

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“That’s what the contract says. It’s what he wants. It’s his call, it’s Tyson’s call. So whatever he wants to do, it’s up to him,” Warren said.

After an intriguing 12-round battle that saw both men enjoy success, plenty of boxing fans would relish the chance to see the pair go at it again, especially after Usyk managed to turn the tide.

“We’ll go back to our families and I’ll see him again in October. We’ll go back, rest up. I believe I won the fight but I’m not going to sit and cry and make excuses. We’ll run it again in October,” Fury said.

Asked if he would be prepared to face Fury again, Usyk, who did not respond directly to Fury’s claim, was unequivocal.

“Yes, of course,” the 37-year-old Ukrainian said.

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-Reuters

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