Despite several failed attempts to see that the much anticipated Guinness Book of World Record bout is staged in Nigeria, World Boxing Federation (WBF) Cruiserweight Champion, Bash Ali has insisted he will not give up on his struggle to ensure that the fight sees the light of the day.
The 64-year-old pugilist’s latest efforts to have his Guinness Book of World Record fight staged in Nigeria is to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, hopes that will help his dream comes true.
In an open letter written to the President on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Ali said he also wants to meet the President to present to him souvenirs and a pair of boxing gloves to knockout corruption and bad administration from Nigeria and direct minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare to do the right so that his Guinness Book of World Record bout can be successfully hosted in Nigeria.
The boxer said that since 2006 till date, he had made several efforts to see that the fight takes place in Nigeria, stating that the efforts made the federal government to setup a Local Organising Committee (LOC) three times, which failed to yield the desired result, saying that Nigeria stands to generate $3billions as Pay Per View (PPV) revenue from the fight without spending a kobo.
According to WBF Cruiserweight Champion, Nigeria will be the first country apart from the USA to host the Guinness World Records Boxing Championship Fight.
He said historic fight before COVID-19 pandemic was estimated to be watched by 20 to 25 million LIVE on Pay Per View Television (PPVTV) at the rate of $100 per viewer, for a $3 billion minimum PPVTV Revenue not including sponsorship, adverts and sales of souvenirs that could amount to another $1billion and would also attract over 132 countries to Nigeria.
The boxer, who spoke to LEADERSHIP Sports, vowed to break the jinx that a Nigerian cannot succeed in Nigeria unless he or she goes abroad.
“Why is it that when a Nigerian stands up to do something great in Nigeria, the No 1 opponents are Nigerians who are supposed to help him or her to succeed? But when out of frustration, the Nigerian goes abroad and becomes successful and Nigerians will be the first to say this is our own”.
“Anthony Joshua didn’t suffer one-third of what I’m going through before he dumped Nigeria to represent UK and now that he is successful, everybody is calling him our son. I want to break the jinx that a Nigerian cannot succeed in Nigeria unless he or she goes abroad,” Ali said.
Ali in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari added, “Sports is one of the biggest industries in the world and if well organised in Nigeria, we will earn money for the government”.
“On January 6, 2020, I wrote a letter to Your Excellency, through Minister Dare for a Courtesy visit to thank you for your support but the minister in a harsh letter dated January 7, 2020 told me my request is not possible until the Appeal Court matter is settled. The matter was settled in March 2020 and I made several efforts to reach Minister Dare on phone and through his personal assistant without success. So, on May 18, 2020, I dropped a letter for him and a couple of T-shirts with the inscription, ‘JOIN US TO KNOCKOUT CORRUPTION IN SPORTS’ and a refund of my share of the N2 million from the court settlement to the federal government. The letter and the T-shirts were acknowledged and received but the N2 million was rejected. This noble act of returning the N2 million upset the ministry”.
“The next day being May 19, 2020, the minister returned all that was acknowledged with a letter that the federal government is no longer interested in the Nigeria’s Project and a few days later, Minister Dare issued a press release that the federal government has hands-off Nigeria’s project”.
“Sir, despite your 2015 approval and letters written to the World Boxing Bodies to guarantee Nigeria the safety of the 132 countries and the facilitation of the quick release of the Fight Money domiciled at the bank, the May 21, 2019 inauguration of the Bash Ali Boxing Project and your directive to Minister Sunday Dare to meet with me to discuss how to successfully host it in Nigeria, this historic event and all my efforts to host this fight in Nigeria have been blocked because of corruption and bad administration,” he stated.
In 1985, Bash Ali made history as the first Cruiserweight boxing champion from the African continent. 35 years after achieving that feat, he wants to walk into the ring once again. But the more he tries to push his case, the more he encounters obstacles. However, the boxer insists he would continue to push until his dream comes true.
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