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Anthony Joshua, heavyweight champion, eager to defend titles in Nigeria



Two-time world heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua has revealed his intention to defend his world heavyweight title belts in Nigeria. The British/Nigerian pugilist disclosed this following his rematch win over Andy Ruiz Jnr in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.

Further, Anthony Joshua, who was born of Nigerian parents, has revealed his desire to make this a reality soon. Equally important, Anthony Joshua has disclosed that his dream of staging a fight in Nigeria; began after a visit to the country this year.

If this comes to light, it would be the first world championship heavyweight fight on the continent outside South Africa; since the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire in 1974 between two boxing greats, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

“People had been telling me I should go back for ages. It was crazy because they don’t have 24-hour electricity but they still know me and support me.

Going back home to Nigeria was one of the best things I’ve done, says Anthony Joshua

“I went to the ghettos of the ghettos where it’s not all about egos and beef; it’s about people who are hungry to survive. It was one of the best things I’ve done. Africa’s rooting for me for sure, so I would definitely love to fight out there.”

Joshua’s immediate fight plans include a return to London; possibly at the home of Tottenham Hotspur; to defend his titles against either the Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev or the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, However, his promoter, Eddie Hearn, has received numerous offers to stage future bouts elsewhere, including Africa.

Joshua’s parents are both of Nigerian descent. Also, he had made a bid to represent Nigeria at the 2008 Olympics. However, he was turned down by boxing officials.

Following his rematch victory over Andy Ruiz; President Muhammadu Buhari had sent a congratulatory message to Anthony Joshua. The message read in part; “The downfall of a man is truly not the end of his life. There’s always another, and better day. This is a lesson we must all learn from you as a country.”

Incidentally, Anthony Joshua has a cousin, Ben Ileyemi, who is also a professional boxer. The pair made their professional debuts together in 2013.

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Solskjaer wants Lingard back to his best after cut back on social media




Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Jesse Lingard has toned down his social media activity in order to recapture his best form in the second half of the campaign.

Lingard failed to score or assist in the Premier League in 2019 calendar year and has lost his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of this year’s European Championship.

“Jesse has had his ups and downs as I’ve spoken about before. We want him back scoring goals and making assists.

“There’s no one who runs as much, he’s great trigger for us in the pressing, he’s a lively, bubbly character,” Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of United’s League Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester City on Tuesday.

Lingard recently said in an interview with the Daily Mail that he feared for his United future after posting a bizarre video on social media with team mate Marcus Rashford in the close season.

Solskjaer had reprimanded the midfielder for his conduct and said it was important to speak to players about how they portray themselves online.

“I don’t think you see as much in the social media as you used to from Jesse.

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UEFA’s 50 for the Future: Arsenal’s Saka makes list



Bukayo Saka makes UEFA's list

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka has been recognized by UEFA has one of the 50 youngsters expected to becomes stars in two years’ time.

The official website of UEFA which published the list had Saka has the only player of Nigerian descent worthy of selection in the prestigious list. Saka is also eligible to play for the Nigeria national team.

The player was recognized thanks to his brilliant performances for Arsenal in this season’s Premier League and Europa League.

The other Premier League starlets that made the list include Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Reece James (Chelsea), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) and Troy Parrott (Tottenham).

On Saka, they wrote: “In September, at 18 years and 14 days old, winger Saka became Arsenal’s youngest European scorer since Aaron Ramsey in 2008.”

A Hale End Academy graduate, Saka made his first team debut against Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League on November 29, 2018, becoming the 15th youngest player to debut for Arsenal aged 17 years, 2 months and 24 days.

A winger by trade, the versatile Saka has been deployed at left-back in his last five matches for Arsenal in the Premier league, including Wednesday’s win against Manchester United.

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Makinde, Ogundoyin, Others watch Shooting Stars trash Ekiti United in Ibadan (Photos)



Gov Makinde watches with excitement as Shooting Stars trash Ekiti United

…honours ex sports commissioner, 3SC coach

Oyo state Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde was present at the football match between the Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) Ibadan and Ekiti United at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamsingba in Ibadan.

The match played on Sunday evening saw the 3SC team beat their counterpart in a 1-0 victory.

Makinde took to his official twitter handle to celebrate the football Stars on the commendable feat.

Also present were Oyo state House of Assembly speaker, RT Hon Debo Ogundoyin, commisioner of youths and sports, Seun Fakorede amongst others.

The governor also honoured a former player and coach of the club, Felix Owolabi and former commissioner for youths and sports, Ayoola Makanjuola for contribution to sports development in the state.

He said: “We attended the match between Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), Ibadan and Ekiti United at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasigba, this evening. Congratulations to our team for the 1-0 victory.

“It was an opportunity to honour former player/coach, Felix Owolabi and former Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Ayoola Makanjuola for their outstanding contributions to 3SC and sports development in Oyo State.”

Makinde honours Ex Coach Felix Owolabi in Ibadan/Twitter

Makinde honours Former youths and sports commissioner, Ayoola Makanjuola in Ibadan/ Twitter

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