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Heavyweight Boxing: Lagos fans back Joshua to beat Ngannou

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Some boxing enthusiasts on Thursday in Lagos, have canvassed  support for Nigeria-British born Anthony Joshua to beat French-Cameroon born Francis Ngannou in a 10-round heavyweight clash on March 8 in Riyad, Saudi Arabia.

The respondents told newsmen separate interviews that Joshua will emerge winner over Ngannou by a unanimous decision.

Abayomi Oyeleye, a boxing coach with Bornu  Sports Association, said that the fight would be a tough one considering the determination of both boxers to come out  victorious.

He said that as a Nigerian, he is supporting Joshua to come out as the winner of the epic boxing bout.

“Anthony Joshua will defeat Ngannou because; he is fighting with a lot of experience.

“ Ngannou is a world champion with the Ultimate Fighting Machine (UFC) mixed martial arts, but he cannot have the longevity Joshua has.

“I give it to Joshua to win, as a Nigerian I am supporting Joshua, although I expect a very good fight from both fighters.

“ Ngannou is a power punch that has always been a trade mark for him defeating  his opponents at the UFC.

“”His recent fight with Tyson Fury also showed that he can adapt to boxing rules,” Oyeleye said.

Oyeleye said that Joshua is a far more experienced boxer than Ngannou because he is a trained boxe, and has been in the business far more than Ngannou.

“Ngannou is a newcomer in boxing and would find it very difficult to defeat a well-established boxer in the capacity of Joshua.

“Joshua also possessed better boxing skills and can move very well to avoid Ngannou’s power punch and tactics,”Oyeleye said.

Remi Aboderin, the President, West Africa Boxing Union (WABU), said that he is solidly behind Joshua to beat Ngannou.

“My position is Joshua winning the boxing bout, he is going to teach Ngannou some boxing lessons.

“We should not look at what happened between Tyson Fury and Ngannou to judge what will happen between Joshua and Ngannou.

“Furry had underrated Ngannou, and had to work his socks off to get himself winning the bout; Joshua should just work hard in picking his points.

“Joshua should avoid going to a toe to toe brawl with Ngannou, because he is very tough in fighting and winning brawls.

“Joshua already knows what he is going into when he agrees to fight Ngannou for a non-title bout; he would unleash his qualities by the sixth round of the fight.

“He will then go on to dominate the other rounds and eventually beat Ngannou silly,” he  said.

Aboderin  said that Nigeria can boast of home grown talents who are doing well in the international circuit.

“By funding boxing bouts and supporting the sport with equipment and better facilities, we will train homegrown world beaters.

“We can get a lot of kids off the street if only the government changes its  strategies by supporting boxing bouts with their funds.

“The likes of Efe Ajagba, Efe Akpochie are home grown talents and have gone far in the international scheme of things.

“We can groom world class boxers even the likes of Samuel Peters who represented Nigeria at the Olympics,”Aboderin said.

Coach Shehu Yusuf  of  the Lagos State Sports Association, said that the fight would be an open fight because both contenders are world class boxers.

“I support Anthony Joshua to beat Ngannou, although the fight will be a very tough one, because both fighters are great athletes.

“I believe Joshua would have trained so hard for this fight and would not allow Ngannou to have an upper hand.

“I also believe that Ngannou’s corner must have seen the lapses on the part of Joshua and will exploit them.

“I wish both fighters the best of luck but expect a Joshua victory,” Yusuf said.

Joshua is a two-time former unified world heavyweight champion, having held the World Boxing Association (WBA) (Super version), International Boxing Federation (IBF)

He alsso held the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) titles twice between 2016 and 2021. He also held the International Boxing Organization (IBO) title twice during that reign.

At the  regional level, he held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles from 2015 to 2016.

Ngannou is a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, originally from Cameroon known for his impressive knockout power and meteoric rise in the sport.

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EPL: Lee Sharps wants ex-PSG coach to replace Ten Hag at Man Utd

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Former Manchester Player, Lee Sharps wants former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery to replace Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag’s long-term future at Man United is unclear because of the Re Devils’ performances this season.

Man United currently sit outside of the Premier League top four behind the likes of Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City.

In a recent interview with DAZN, Sharpe said:

“If I were choosing and Erik ten Hag was to go, Unai Emery would be at the top of my list.

“I think given the support and the full backing, he could replicate what he has done at [Aston] Villa. I think he’d be a class manager for United.”

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Europa League: Klopp reacts as Atalanta sends Liverpool out of competition

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Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has hailed his players despite their exit from the Europa League.

The Reds beat Atalanta 1-0 in Bergamo, but lost the tie 3-1 on aggregate.

After Mohamed Salah’s early penalty, Klopp’s men failed to get more goals, despite having control for most of the game.

Klopp has now said they will concentrate on the Premier League, where they are in third place, two points behind leaders Manchester City.

“It was clear we gave ourselves a massive hurdle. I liked the game a lot tonight with the desire and power the boys show. It was incredible from them.

“It was really tricky and we were too hasty in moments. We won the game and that was the reaction we wanted to show. It was difficult and we knew it would be but they deserve to go through 100%.

“We have to focus on the league and that is exactly what we will do from now. Tonight we won the game so we are back to winning ways.

“We have a few days to recover to go again against Fulham. That will be a different game but it will be tricky,” Klopp said.

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Juventus releases statement after order to pay Cristiano Ronaldo’s unpaid wages

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Italian giants Juventus have released a statement after being ordered to pay their former player, Cristiano Ronaldo his unpaid wages.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS, ordered the Serie A giants to pay Cristiano Ronaldo his unpaid wages.

The court gave the verdict following a dispute arising from pay reductions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ronaldo, who now laces his boots for Saudi Super League side, Al-Nassr, told the court he was owed €19.5 million ($20.81 million) by the Turin giants in unpaid wages.

The Court ruling will see Juventus pay Ronaldo around half that amount, with a €9.8 million settlement reached.

The Italian giants quickly moved to make a statement after the ruling, stating, “The arbitration tribunal ruled Juve had to pay half of the sum requested by the 39-year-old Portugal striker.

“They partially granted the request made by [Ronaldo]… ascertaining Juventus’ pre-contractual liability resulting from the failure of negotiations and ordered the defendant to pay an amount of approximately Euro 9.8 million.”

Juventus have also hinted at their desire to contest the ruling in their statement, saying:
“The Company, also with the support of its legal counsel, is reviewing the decision made by the arbitration board, reserving all assessments and initiatives to preserve its rights.”

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