Nigerian Boxing Ambassador, World Boxing Federation (WBF) cruiserweight champion, Bashiru Lawrence Ali, OON, has again called on the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare to put necessary things in place in the organisation of the first Guijnness Book of World Record Boxing Championship which holds in Nigeria very soon.
Ali, who is fondly called Bash Ali by his teeming fans across the world, specifically called on the Sports Minister to move with deliberate speed to ensure that Nigeria hosts a memorable tournament, which has never been held outside the United State of America before.
“Out of the eight billion people in the world, only two boxers are qualified to break the Guinness World Record (GWR) Book as the oldest to fight for a World Boxing Title.
“The Number one is your brother and a great patriot, Bash Ali. OON of Nigeria. The Number two is Evander Holyfield of the United States of America (USA). On Fight Night, I will also rewrite boxing history as the oldest boxer to defend his world title.
“The Boxing Record Book is there for additional information. Sir, a GWR Boxing Championship Fight has never been held outside of the USA so the Bash Ali GWR Fight would be the first and on the soil of Africa, and to be exact, on the soil of our great country, Nigeria,” he wrote in a latest letter dated 4 February, 2020 to the Minister and copied President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The boxer recalled how the Federal Government has through the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports inaugurated a Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the fight last year. The LOC comprised eminent Nigerians with the responsibility of organising the world boxing title fight befitting the image of the country in the comity of nations around the world.
“On May 21, 2019, the Federal Government inaugurated the Local Organising Committee to organise in Nigeria this historic event. Exactly three months, November 4, 2019, I had a meeting with you in the presence of many of your head of departments. Apart from telling me about President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to meet with me to discuss the above historic fight, we also agreed to settle out of the Appeal Court so we can plan how to successfully organize this historic Event in Nigeria.
“On November 6, 2019, my lawyers reached an agreement with your lawyers to settle the case outside of the Court as directed by you. Sir, almost three months after the agreement and almost three months after the inauguration of the LOC nothing positive has happened,” he said.
Despite the frustration he encountered in the course of seeing that the dream of hosting the historic bout come to reality in Nigeria, the wrestler turned professional boxer vowed that he would never dumped his country and he would remain focus on the task ahead of him
“Sir, despite being financially broke and several juicy offers to fight outside of Nigeria, despite all these unnecessary frustration and despite several foreign negative articles trying to rubbish Nigeria and kill my spirit about my quest to host in Nigeria this historic event, I will never give up on my country, Nigeria.
“Sir, I am an athlete and time is not my pal. If there is any obstacle or obstacles in the way of our out of Appeal Court agreement, let me know so we can find a solution, please. I am more interested in the honour, glory and the financial growth that this historic event would attract to our great country than to allow anything trivial to stop us.
“Sir, apart from President Muhammadu Buhari, you are the only other person that can help me make this historic event a reality in our great country, Nigeria, so help me, please.”
Bash Ali wanted the Sports Minister to “move with deliberate speed to approve the terms of our out of Appeal Court settlement on your table so your lawyers can withdraw the matter from the Court to pave the way for the hosting of the first Guinness World Record Boxing Championship Fight on the soil of Africa.
“That you move with deliberate speed to restore my security and relocate me to the Official Hotel for this historic fight.
“That you move with deliberate speed to arrange for me a courtesy visit to President Buhari to show my appreciation by officially presenting to him the Guinness World Record Boxing Fight souvenirs and a special boxing glove to know out corruption in Nigeria,” he concluded.