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Usyk says Fury vs Ngannou is a nothing fight, demands four-belt unification bout

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Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) has called out WBC counterpart Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24) for what he sees as a money grab in his next fight.

The 35-year-old Brit is set to face boxing debutant and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a 10-round non-title bout in Saudi Arabia on October 28.

Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 36, was in negotiations early this year for a two-fight series with Fury before talks fell apart over the purse split for the rematch.

Usyk conceded a 70-30 split in Fury’s favour for the first fight, but wanted a 50-50 split for the rematch should he come through the bout victorious.

Fury turned down the offer.

In the week leading up to his title defence against mandatory contender Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois 19-1 (18) at Stadion Wroclaw in Wroclaw, Poland on Saturday night, Usyk let his thoughts be known on Fury’s next matchup.

“I think it’s easy money for Tyson Fury,” WBA, WBO and IBF champion Usyk said to BBC Sport. “I think for me it looks a little bit strange, to me, too strange.

“A guy who is WBC heavyweight champion instead of fighting a guy from the top 10, suddenly chooses the guy as his opponent coming from the UFC. For Ngannou, this is cool. But for Tyson Fury, it isn’t. Your perception and my perception are different. You treat it like show, I treat it as an athlete. If he chooses this way, okay, I respect his choice.”

Alexander Krassyuk, who promotes the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, is adamant that Usyk vs Fury must happen not just for the boxers themselves, but for the good of the sport.

“It’s our obligation to deliver this fight,” Krassyuk said to BBC Sport. “The whole world wants to see this fight. Not just ourselves or people involved in boxing, but the whole world.

“People who know nothing about boxing would love to see the heavyweight undisputed fight for the four belts for the first time in the four-belt era. I can promise you and promise all the fans around the world that I will do everything that can depend on me to make this fight happen.”

But Fury’s British co-promoter Frank Warren, who works longside American Bob Arum, scoffed at the notion of Fury facing Usyk.

He is convinced that his boxer Dubois, 25, will defeat Usyk, leading to an all-British showdown with Fury.

“How’s it going to happen when Daniel wins?” Warren said.

“I think our man beats him. Our man beats him and if he beats him then Usyk is out of the picture. Then we’ll see where we go from there.”

Now pushing 37, Usyk knows he does not have time on his side to add to his legacy in the sport. But he disputed suggestions he was on the home straight of his career.

“No, it is not the final point,” Usyk said. “I am 36, but this is just the beginning. I started boxing at the age of 15. It’s just the beginning now.

“I do realise there are not many years left for me in boxing and I don’t want to spend much time in boxing. I want to take my kids to school and whatever.”

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Nigerian League

Dreams FC land in Uyo for crunch clash with Rivers United

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Ghanaian club, Dreams FC have arrived Uyo for their CAF Confederation Cup clash with Rivers United.

Abdul Karim Zito’s side top the Group C table with 12 points from five games.

The Ghanaian FA Cup champions need just a point from the game to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Rivers United occupy third position in the group with nine points from same number of matches and just 1-0 win will be enough for the Port Harcourt club to qualify for the knockout round.

The encounter is slated for the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Sunday.

Tunisia’s Club Africain and Academica do Lobito of Angola will clash in the other group game.

 

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Nigerian League

StarTimes to air four NPFL games weekly

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StarTimes has increased its weekly live broadcast of Nigeria Professional Football League matches to four from February, instead of the usual two live matches per week.

The Pay-TV firm said fans should brace themselves for an electrifying weekend as the NPFL serves scintillating fixtures on Beta Sports channel 244 on StarTimes.

As the sun sets on Saturday (today) at 5:30pm, Remo Stars take on Bayelsa United. Remo, renowned for their attacking flair, aim to extend their winning streak, while Bayelsa, hungry for points, will be out to play party spoilers.

Also, Doma United square off against Sporting Lagos on Monday. The stakes are high as both teams jostle for mid-table supremacy.

Midweek, two matches were already aired live. Some of the other matches scheduled for this weekend like the Gombe United vs Shooting Stars match have been rescheduled to Tuesday.

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Nigerian League

NPFL U-17 Youth League: Elegbeleye Reveals Major Reason Behind Programme Creation

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The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has revealed that the major reason for making inroads into the NPFL Youth League is to have a pool of players the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) can consider for international youth tournaments.

At a media parley in Benin, venue of the maiden edition of NPFL Youth League Playoff, NFF 2nd Vice-Chairman and NPFL Chairman, Gbenga Elegbeleye also said the league body has picked some former Super Eagles players whose recommendation would be relied upon to assemble a solid structure for the junior national teams.

“Nigeria have an enviable record of winning the U-16 World Cup on five occasions. However, we couldn’t even qualify from Africa the last time the competition was held due to our lack of planning.

Now that we know that without good planning, you can’t get result, we decided to come up with the idea of the NPFL Youth League exclusively for players in the elite league.

With that, we hope to have a pool of talented players where NFF can pick for U-17 Africa Cup of Nations or FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

He insisted that NPFL should be the main focus of such players.

Four ex-Nigeria International players were unveiled as brand ambassadors.

They are current Super Eagles coordinator Patrick Paschal; Nigeria’s third highest scorer of all time, Yakubu Aiyegbeni; Seyi Olofinjana, a chemical engineer and NFF technical director, Augustine Eguavoen.

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