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Bash Ali gets SURE-P backing for record breaking fight...
Gen. Martin-Luther Agwai
The Chairman of the Subsidy Re-Investment
and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Gen. Martin-Luther Agwai, has assured
Cruiserweight boxer Bash Ali of maximum support in his boxing quest for glory.
Agwai gave the assurance in Abuja when he
met with Ali who was soliciting SURE-P’s support for the Guinness Book of World
The International Boxing Union (IBU) is
demanding $1 million (N162 million) sanctioning fees to be paid on or before 30
April or Nigeria will lose the hosting right.
Agwai said Nigerians should see the
Guinness Book of World Record fight as a national project and help the boxer to
source for the money. “If we can produce in every geo-political zone one Bash
Ali, that means we are going to get at least six world champions.
“A lot of them will also want to rise to
rule the world in so many sports, not only boxing. We should never as a
country, individuals, collectively allow this great dream to die.
“I went to Bulgaria and I was in a
restaurant and somebody asked me where I came from? I said ‘from Nigeria’ and
he said ‘Jay Jay Okocha’. That is what he knows; he identifies Nigeria with Jay
“I will also want that everywhere a
Nigerian goes; they will say are you from the same country with Bash Ali,”
Nigeria stands the chance of earning about
$500 million from the fight and attracting about 12 million viewers worldwide.
This will be the first time that the
government of Nigeria is putting money into sports and getting money back.
58-year-old Bash Ali
Ali said he was happy that the government
has agreed to back him. “I went from Obasanjo to Yar’Adua; from Yar’Adua to
Jonathan. It was Jonathan who finally said that this fight must hold to the
glory of Nigeria.
“I was offered 11 million Euros to do this
fight in Germany. I said ‘no, Nigeria is my country; it’s the only country that
I have and this historic fight must happen in Nigeria’.
“I have not had the opportunity to make
one kobo and the only way I make money is through fighting.
Ali is proposing to fight American, Ricky
Camlin in the world record fight.