Cruiserweight boxer and former North American Boxing Federation (NABF) champion, Nigerian Bash Ali has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to make his fight against American fighter Rick Camlin a reality to put Nigeria on the world map and to make the Guinness book of records.
Ali, who turned 60 on February 27, while addressing the press in Abuja said he wants the fight to be staged in Nigeria saying it is only the intervention of the President that can save the frustration he has been facing from stakeholders in the sports sector since 2006.
According to him, the foursome of Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, Director General of National Sports Commission, Mallam Alhassan Yakmut (now posted as a director of special duties in the Ministry of Niger Delta) Director of Grassroots Sports, Dr Ademola Are and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Christian Ohaa are not leaving any stone unturned to make sure that the fight does not see the light of the day “because they do not share the vision of President Buhari for a corruption free Nigeria and are more interested in satisfying their paymaster.
Ali alleged that the top guns in the sports ministry are demanding that he should greased their palms for a fight he claimed will bring honour, glory and money to Nigeria. He said the fight will cost $28million and generate $750million which will be used to build 5 sports academies in the country.
However, responding, Director, Grassroots Sports in the NSC, Dr Ademola Are confirmed that Ali wrote a letter to the President and he (President) has directed that the ministry should work out modalities on how the fight will come a reality. He however advised the former boxing champion to exercise patience with the ministry. He added that the ministry had not collected any dime from anybody for Ali’s fight while challenging the boxer to take them to any court with his proof of evidence.