Thursday, September 23, 2021

Bash Ali writes Osinbajo over IBU world record deadline

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Bash Ali

Former world cruiserweight boxing champion, Bash Ali, has written the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, seeking Federal Government’s intervention in his bid to enter the Guinness Book of records as the oldest fighter to win a world title.

Ali has for over 10 years been struggling to enter his name in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest boxer to win a world title.

In the letter dated March 6 and made available to The Guardian, Ali narrated his ordeal in the hands of various sports administrators in his bid to realize his ambition, adding that the organisers of the fight has now given him a deadline to furnish them with the process to the fight.

He wrote: “Sir, the International Boxing Union (IBU) has given Nigeria a March 10, 2017 deadline to give them a letter guaranteeing the safety of the 170 member countries that would be in Nigeria to watch the historic fight and to pay the overdue $1M IBU approval fee or lose the right to host to Germany. I am offered big time money to fight in Germany but I prefer my country, Nigeria. See annexure 100.

“Sir, George Foreman set the GWR in his country, America. Joe Bugner set the GWR in his country, Australia. Bernard Hopkins set the GWR in his country, America. And now that it is your brother’s turn, it has become an unpardonable crime to want to break the GWR at home so Nigeria can get the benefits. My plight has caught the attention of the International community that one of the most respected newspapers in the world, New York Times had to write about it. See annexure 2A.”

Ali informed the acting president that the sports ministry had at various times over the years inaugurated the local organizing committee (LOC) for the fight, adding, “in the LOC’s Terms of Reference, Nexim Bank and Bank of Industry were mandated to fund the historic event. The Chief of Staff to Mr. President is also a member of the LOC while the Minister of Sports is the Chairman. At the inauguration, the LOC agreed that Nexim Bank would be the coordinating bank.

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