All is set for the maiden edition of GOtv Boxing Night Mini, which holds today at the Rowe Park Sports Complex, Yaba, Lagos. The event is a smaller version of the hugely successful GOtv Boxing Night, which has had 19 editions. Five bouts are scheduled for the event, which will see some household names in action. Among the big names on parade is Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight champion, who will face Ola Adebakin in a national challenge bout. WABU welterweight king, Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, is also in action against South Africa returnee, Dennis “The Range” Mba, for a challenge fuel in the division.
The cruiserweight category will see a return to action of Kabiru “KB Godson” Towolawi, who faces Tunji “Germani” Olajide. New kids on the block, Waheed “Showmax” Shogbamu and Semiu “Jagaban” Olopade will clash in the welterweight category.
Equally lined up is an all-female clash that will see Cynthia “Omo Bobby” Ogunsemilore take on Omowunmi “Mummy’s Pet” Akinsanya in a national super featherweight challenge. Speaking on the event, Jenkins Alumona, Managing Director of Flykite Promotions, organisers of the event, said everything has been put in place to ensure a hitch-free and successful event.
“We have put measures in place to ensure that there are no hitches. Rowe Park is ready to welcome everybody for this inaugural edition of GOtv Boxing Night Mini. It promises to be an exciting show,” he said. Alumona called on all boxing fans to come and cheer their idols. The event is sponsored by GOtv, the country’s leading digital-tohome terrestrial operator.
Slovenia fire Nigerian for impregnating club President’s daughter
Nigerian player name withheld has been sacked by second division side in Slovenia for impregnating the daughter of the club’s President after just six months with the side.
The player, whose identity is still under wraps according to GhanaSoccerNet said he was fired for ‘gross misconduct and indiscipline’ over the pregnancy which he has claimed full responsibility.
GhanaSoccerNet stated that four Nigerians registered with the club are Bede Osuji, Temitope Nelson, Gerald Chiyoke and Sulaiman Adedoja but it is uncertain which of them is involved in the pregnancy issue.
The player, who fears public backlash over the situation, has returned to Nigeria after his ordeal and he is worried over the girlfriend and her pregnancy.
The player is considering FIFA action against the club following the decision to sack him over reasons he feels are unjustified after joining the club just in May.
“I signed a three-year deal with the option of another year but last month I ran into trouble when my girlfriend who happens to be the daughter of the president said she was pregnant for me.”
” The club got to know about it and summoned me for a meeting. I got there and admitted that I am responsible for the pregnancy and I was told to stay at home and not to be seen around the club premises until I am instructed to return.
” A week later I was called to the office and told that my agent has been informed about their plans to terminate my contract for gross misconduct and indiscipline. The news came to me as a surprise because I have not been found wanting in any area since I arrived the club six months ago,” he said
The Nigerian player says he is considering legal action at FIFA over the claims of the club that he went beyond the boundary set for players of the club.
Usman ready to defend UFC title Sat
arely a week after Nigerian-Briton Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world titles, another Nigerian Kamaru Usman, a mixed martial arts fighter ,will this weekend in Las Vegas, United States defend his Ultimate Fight Championship title against another top rival Colby Covington.
Both fighters, who have been tagged ‘bitter rivals’ and men on a mission to claim bragging rights into the early hours of Sunday, with Nigerian fans expected to root all the way for Usman, as he makes his first defense of the UFC welterweight belt.
The two have shared bad blood for the better part of a year and will finally lock horns inside the Octagon.
Fans of Usman in the US and his country home Nigeria will hope for another glorious night when the highly-rated Mixed Martial Arts fighter goes against former interim champ, Covington in the main event of UFC 245.
After winning five of his first six MMA fights, Usman entered the UFC by winning season 21 of The Ultimate Fighter, and he has turned away every opponent in front of him since.
After dominant main event performances against Demian Maia and Rafael dos Anjos in 2018, Usman was awarded a title shot against Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in March who he beat convincingly to become champion.
In contrast his opponent, Covington made his UFC debut as a 5-0 fighter in Aug. 2014, and he’s gone 10-1 in the Octagon.
Covington won the interim UFC welterweight title at UFC 225 but was stripped of the title due to being unable to unify the belt because of injuries.
Paralympian internet sensation Hamato visits Nigeria
io 2016 Paralympian and internet sensation, Ibrahim Hamato will be part of the Egyptian team coming to Nigeria for the maiden Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open holding on December 19 to 21 in Lagos.
Hamato, 44 is an Egyptian Para table tennis Champion, winning several honours over the years, including the silver medals in the African Para table tennis Championships in 2011 and 2013.
Hamato lost both his arms as the result of a train accident when he was 10 that in an interview with CNN the Egyptian said “In our village, we could only play, at that time, table tennis and soccer that’s why I played both. It was logic to play soccer first due to my case; then I played table tennis as a challenge.
Hamato has also won an appreciation award under 6th Edition of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award for the category of athlete who achieved success in sports despite major humanitarian challenges after earning second place and winning the silver medal during the African Para table tennis Championships in December 2013.
According to the project consultant, Sunday Odebode, the presence of Egyptian team who are one of the top playing nations in Africa would add glamour to the tournament holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.
“We are excited to have Hamato in Lagos because he has been an inspiration to a lot of people across the world and we believe his presence in Lagos would again inspire special athletes to aim high despite their challenges. It promises to be exciting and we cannot wait to have some of the top teams already confirmed for the championship in Lagos. Preparation is ongoing to ensure a hitch-free tournament and we believe hosting this kind of the competition will put Nigeria on the world map and give our players the chance to test might with some of the best in Africa in readiness for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan,” Odebode said.
Over N10.8m ($30,000) will be at stake as players compete in 44 titles in singles and team events.
Pellegrini ‘not worried’ about relegation after loss to Arsenal
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini is “not worried about relegation” from the Premier League even though his side are above the bottom three by only a point.
Monday’s 3-1 home defeat by Arsenal was a seventh loss in nine games.
The Hammers travel to third-bottom Southampton on Saturday knowing defeat could leave them in the drop zone.
“In our last five games at home we got one draw and conceded three goals in our last three. I am more worried about that,” said the Chilean.
Some people within the club believe Pellegrini, 66, could lose his job if the Hammers are beaten at St Mary’s, reports the BBC.
However, the club have repeatedly stressed they like to honour contracts, and the deal Pellegrini signed in May 2018 does not expire until 2021.
The Hammers have spent all but one season in the top flight since 2005. This is their eighth campaign since their last promotion and they have never finished below 13th.
Following their controversial move to the 60,000-capacity London Stadium in 2016, Hammers Chairman David Sullivan has give Pellegrini – appointed to succeed David Moyes in 2018 – around £165m to build a squad capable of challenging for European qualification.
Yet, with the exception of the bottom three, West Ham have the worst goal difference in the Premier League. Only four clubs have conceded in excess of their 28 goals, half of which have come in the past six games.
Striker Sebastien Haller, their £45m record signing, has scored once since August and after starting on the bench against Arsenal, the Frenchman made no impact after he was introduced 20 minutes from time.
Pellegrini accepts that, as manager, “you take responsibility for results”.
“For 65 minutes there was only one team on the pitch,” he added. “But we must score the second goal to decide the game. If Arsenal had scored three times from seven chances, that would be different. The game was decided in three minutes. We need to concentrate more, be more consistent and more solid.”
There were thousands of empty seats visible at the final whistle after a game in which the Hammers had led through Angelo Ogbonna’s deflected header, only for three goals in nine second-half minutes from Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to transform the game.
Those West Ham fans who were left greeted the end of the match with whistles and jeers.
Nevertheless, Pellegrini says they are still behind his team.
“If you get one point from five games at home and concede three goals in three games, you can’t expect them to be happy and not to boo,” he said.
“But I don’t agree the fans are not behind the team. There are 60,000 here for every game. If they weren’t behind the team, the stadium would be empty.”
Gary Neville: Mourinho would have sold Martial
Jose Mourinho “would have probably sold or swapped” Anthony Martial had he remained at Manchester United, says Gary Neville, but the French forward is worth persevering with.
Big money was invested in the 24-year-old by the Red Devils back in the summer of 2015.
His potential was bought into by Louis van Gaal, with a promising start made to his time at Old Trafford.
There have been form and fitness issues since then, with it suggested at various stages that Martial may be edging towards the exits.
He eventually committed to a new contract in January, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking the reins at Old Trafford, and has become a key man alongside the in-form Marcus Rashford.
Neville believes the Red Devils should now be looking to bring even more out of a player who can confuse and amaze in equal measure.
The Red Devils legend told Sky Sports: “Martial, I think, Jose would have probably sold him or swapped him last season.
“I think the club dug their heels in, probably the start of their dispute of them between them in terms of overruling the manager.
“Myself, I’m confused as to whether he’s a world-class striker or whether he’s someone who is going to pretend to be something.
“You think he’s a fantastic player, great composure, cool, strong, can hold the ball up.
“And then other weeks you look at him… there’s definitely a persistence that needs to occur with Martial in the sense that he has to have his chance.
“Because the idea of selling him and then him coming back to bite you which he could do with his talent is something that you can’t risk.
“And that’s the reason why the club have kept him and now Ole is giving him his opportunity.”
“You see things and you think it’s worth persisting with him because if he can, something clicks, and he gets that confidence, and he can be a 20-25 goalscoring striker.”
Pressed further as to how long United should give Martial to become the No.9 he believes he is capable of being, Neville added: “I think they have to give it another year… certainly the rest of this season because he’s so talented.”
Martial was back among the goals in a derby date with Manchester City on Saturday and now has six efforts to his name through 13 appearances in all competitions.
EPL: Arsenal strike back to end winless run at West Ham
Arsenal came from behind to end their nine-match winless streak as Freddie Ljungberg enjoyed his first victory as interim manager at the expense of his former club West Ham.
Eighteen-year-old Gabriel Martinelli marked his full Premier League debut by side-footing an equaliser which cancelled out Angelo Ogbonna’s deflected first-half opener at London Stadium.
Within nine minutes, Nicolas Pepe had curled a magnificent second into the top corner and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired in a third reports the BBC.
The salvo turned the game on its head and piled the pressure on West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini, whose side have taken four points from their past nine league games and conceded three times in three successive home games.
The Hammers remain a point above the relegation zone in 16th and face a trip to third-bottom Southampton on Saturday. Arsenal move up two places to ninth.
Sports Minister moves to resolve AFN crisis
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has promised to set up a Committee to look into the current crisis rocking the board of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria with a view to resolve it.
The Minister said in his official Tweeter that: “I will be announcing shortly the constitution of a Crisis Resolution Team (CRT) to look into the AFN crisis.
He stated that interest of Nigeria and her athletes trumps every other consideration at this point.
The AFN had announced its breakout from the Sports Ministry on Thursday after its extra-ordinary Congress in Awka, Anambra State, where it made resolutions including rejecting the resignation of Solomon Ogba from the board alongside sacking six of its members.
Amidst the debacle, the Sports Ministry was blamed for meddling with activities of the Athletics body.
Dare who had ordered for the sacking of the body’s Technical Director Sunday Adeleye had yet to make a statement concerning the issue until yesterday.
The former NCC stalwart, a vibrant Twitter user, announced that the CRT was underway.
Only on Sunday, AFN President, Ibrahim Gusau, stated that the crisis was a sad development for the country and that he was ready for dialogue.
He explained the autonomy the athletics body was yearning for which angered the ministry of sports.
Gusau said: “The autonomy we are talking about is in so far as administering the Federation is concerned and had always been in existence in the statutes of the AFN, the CAA and the WA. We have always borne all expenses associated with the administration of the Federation.
“This does not however, preclude the Government, through the FMYSD, from meeting its obligations to the athletes. If athletes are representing Nigeria in a competition, it behoves on the government to take care of them because they are representing the country, not the Federation.”
Lagos hosts Kaita Athletics Feb 29
As part the efforts to boost athletics in the country, the inaugural Ahmed Ahijo Kaita Athletics meet will take place at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Ground, Lagos on February 29.
The sponsor, Alhaji Ahmed Kaita, who is the Chairman of Katsina State Athletics Federation stated that he was doing this to prepare the country’s athletes ahead of the National Sports Festival in Edo State in March next year and the Tokyo Olympics Games next year August.
He said his decision to do this was informed by the poor run of Nigerian athletes in international championships recently especially the last World Championship in Doha, Qatar.
Kaita said the Lagos Meet would be an International of Athletics Association Federations IAAF sanctioned championship adding that gold, silver and bronze medalists will go home with some cash prizes.
According to him, events will hold in 100m men and women, 4 x 100 relay, 4 x 400, mixed relay races, shot put, long jump and discuss for men and women.
He said the major focus would be on the relay races which gave Nigeria her first medal at the Olympics in Los Angeles Games in 1984.
The Katsina Athletics boss disclosed that since the relay race of the quartet of Nigeria’s Innocent Egbunike, Sunday Uti, Moses Ugbesien and Rotimi Peters was the first that won the first medal in athletics for the country at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, there is need to focus more on the relay events.
“We want to bring back the old memories of Nigeria in athletics particularly in the relay races at the Olympic level.
“This is what we are coming out to correct. We do not want such abnormal experience of Doha to occur again. We condemn it in totality,” he added.
He also said foreign based athletes representing Nigeria at international competitions must be compelled to take part in trials against the home based as was the practice in the past.
Sylvester, Quadre win Rainoil tennis meet
Nigeria’s male and female No 1 players, Sylvester Emmanuel and Oyinlomo Quadre continued their dominance of the local scene when they defeated all comers to be crowned winners of this year’s Rainoil tennis open championship which ended on Sunday.
Held at the Clay Court of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja Lagos, Sylvester defeated men’s singles defending champion, Joseph Imeh, by two straight sets of 6/2, 6/3 to emerge winner and cart away the trophy and N500,000 at stake while Imeh got N250,000 for his efforts.
In the women category, Oyinlomo wasted no time in beating old war horse, Christie Agugbom, 6-1, 3-0 (rtd) to take the title and N400,000 prize money while the runners- up got N200,000.
The men’s doubles was won by Uche Oparaoji and Godgift Timibra just as Oyinlomo Quadre and Omolayo Bamidele won the women doubles event.
Winners for the men and women doubles got N250,00 and N200,000 respectively.
Speaking on her victory, Oyinlomo said that hard work and dedication made it possible for her to overcome experienced Agugbom whom she praised for her fighting spirit just as she commended the sponsors for putting up the tournament.
Lyon donates N750,000 to chess championship winner
Bayelsa state Governor-elect, David Lyon at the weekend said his administration would use sport to restore hope among the youth in the state.
The Governor-elect was represented by Prince Ebitimi Amgbare at the presentation N750,000 to Miss Deborah Quickpen.
Quickpen who is only seven yerae old will represent Nigeria at the African Youth Chess Championship coming up in Namibia this month.
According to Hon. Lyon, “It is for this reason that our incoming administration intends to use sport as a veritable tool for development, with the understanding that sport can serve as an impetus for social transformation and change as the state moves to the next of rapid socio-economic development.
He noted that sport can also serve as a tool for crime prevention, conflict resolution and promote inclusive good governance, with a view to creating a peaceful environment for meaningful development.
While appreciating the good gesture of the Governor-elect, recipient of the seven hundred and fifty thousand naira cheque, Miss Deborah Quickpen thanked the Governor-elect for coming to her aid to enable her represent Nigeria at the forthcoming African Youth Chess Championship in Namibia, assuring that she will not disappoint the country at the continental competition.
Also speaking, father of the girl, Mr. Ben Quickpen, who also is the current world’s number 10th man in scrabble and a three times national champion in the game, expressed surprise that his daughter would be sponsored to participate in the forthcoming African Chess Youth Championship in Namibia by the Governor-elect whom he had never met in life.
On his part, Chairman, Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Samuel Numonengi, said the good gesture of the Governor-elect in taking up the bills of Miss Quickpen to enable her participate in the African Youth Chess Championship speaks volumes of his benevolence and passion for sports development.
Also speaking, a lecturer with the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Dr. Phillips Okolo described the gesture of the Governor-elect as a pointer to good things to come to Bayelsa state.
He used the occasion to appeal to the incoming administration to run an open and inclusive government where every stakeholder would be accommodated irrespective of political divides.
Metro and Crime23 hours ago
How I lost my hand to explosive in school, by SS2 student
Opinions24 hours ago
Obaseki’s job rating, re-election bid, stupid!
Politics21 hours ago
Igbo presidency not feasible in 2023 – Ogah
News20 hours ago
Imo is Nigeria’s least corrupt state, says NBS
Business24 hours ago
Power: FG mulls deployment of effective metering
Metro and Crime20 hours ago
Two arrested for stabbing shipping magnate’s wife to death
Politics21 hours ago
My husband’s ministers must sit up – Aisha Buhari
Metro and Crime23 hours ago
Bankers, Indian jailed five years for N855m fraud