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‘Mikel is a living legend, he sacrificed everything for Nigeria’

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Football enthusiasts in Ilorin on Friday described Super Eagles Captain, Mikel Obi, as Nigeria’s “Super Hero”, following his decision to retire from national team duties.

The fans said that Mikel had played his part and deserved to be celebrated.

Recall that the former Chelsea and Middlesbrough midfielder made the announcement via his Instagram page on Thursday afternoon, after leading Nigeria to a Bronze medal finish at the ongoing 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

Benjamin Madoka said Mikel served Nigeria wholeheartedly and should be celebrated.

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“Mikel is a Nigerian Super Hero. He has paid his dues in the national team and he has led by example. Every player must emulate Mikel by being patriotic,” he said.

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Kayode Babatunde described the 32-year-old as a living legend that worth to be referenced in the history book of Nigeria.

“He is a good ambassador of his country; Mikel sacrificed everything for Nigeria. He sacrificed Chelsea for Nigeria and lost his place under Coach Antonio Conte,” he said.

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Another enthusiast, Mujeed Lawal, said the CAF Young Player of the Year 2005 would be missed in the Super Eagles team because of his immense contributions.

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“Mikel’s leadership qualities will remain in our hearts, as he once paid Hotel bills when the Super Eagles players were stranded at the Airport a few years ago outside the country,” he said.

According to Damilola Kareem, Mikel has put smiles on the faces of Nigerians and also made Nigeria more popular on the world stage in the sport.

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“His successes in the national team and at the club level have brought honour to his fatherland. He is a joy to watch when the commentator refers to him as a Nigerian international,” he said.

Bolaji Segun described Mikel as more than a hero to Nigeria; he is “an embodiment of loyalty to national calls”.

“He has won everything for us. Mikel won our hearts. All the best to the Legend.”

Mikel won the AFCON 2013 gold; AFCON 2019 bronze; 2005 FIFA U-20 silver and Rio 2016 Olympics bronze in football in the country’s colours.

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Teenage Saruni dreams of debut Olympics in Tokyo

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David Saruni, Kenya’s teenage prodigy, aims to win the country’s first gold in 400m hurdle at the Olympics.

The USA based rookie, made a false start in his first time representing Kenya at the World Under-17 Championships in Nairobi in 2017 when he was disqualified for lane infringement offense.

But he returned to his training base in Kentucky (USA) and immersed in training, and not even the lockdown imposed by countries to curb COVID-19 spread has slowed him down.

Saruni has been primed as heir apparent to the late former world 400m hurdles champion, Nicholas Bett, and the 19-year-old computer science student said he is ready to pick up the gauntlet.

“It is my dream to represent Kenya at the Tokyo Olympics.

“The plan is to make it to Tokyo this year in August, but the health situation has forced a lockdown.

“However, 2021 is still a good year and I want to be in top form so that I may dominate the hurdles and be able to live the dream of my mentor Bett,’’ said Saruni on Tuesday.

With college athletics in the USA closed, Saruni, like many other sportsmen, is forced to train on his own and he loves the challenge, though it is not optimum.

“Currently, I am able to do some short runs, a lot of gym exercises and related stuff to keep me in good form.

“We will overcome this pandemic and return to competition.

“My focus is to keep improving,’’ added Saruni.

The Kenyan prodigy also has the capacity to oscillate through to 800m and 1,500m races.

MORE READING!  Teenage Saruni dreams of debut Olympics in Tokyo

However, he sees his ideal race being in the hurdles.

Saruni is one of the top talents Kenya expects to parade in Nanjing, China during the rescheduled World Indoor Championships in 2021.

The competition is to be held in March at the newly-built Nanjing Cube.

The teenage athletes missed out on the chance to make the Kenya team to the 2017 World Championships after he was dropped in a controversial way from the 800m team to London with coaches opting to pick Africa silver medallist, Emmanuel Korir, Ferguson Rotich, and David Rudisha, the Olympic champion.

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His coach then, Paul Ereng, a former world 800m champion, said Saruni was to inherit Rudisha.

“There is a new sheriff in town.

“This boy is on fire; Saruni destroyed the 600m indoor world record in Albuquerque, New Mexico,’’ said Ereng.

 

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Holyfield will fight Mike Tyson but on one condition…

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Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has said he is open to facing one-time rival Mike Tyson in a trilogy fight for charity on the condition that Tyson asks for the bout to be set up.

Tyson, 53, fought two epic bouts with Holyfield, 57, during their professional careers, including their controversial 1997 encounter in which Tyson bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear.

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‘Iron Mike’ had released several training videos in recent weeks fuelling speculation he could be returning to the ring, while Holyfield announced his return for a charity bout on Instagram earlier this month.

“If I ask him it’s almost like me being a bully saying I want to go against somebody I’ve beaten twice,” Holyfield told the BBC.

“I don’t want pressure on me that ‘you just want to fight Mike because you know you can beat him’.

“If he hits me I’m going to hit back. I’m going to be 58, he’ll be 54, you talk about being in good health and doing things the proper way that respects it. I don’t have no problem with it.”

Tyson, the first heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, retired after a loss to Kevin McBride in 2005, while Holyfield called time on his career nine years later.

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If they do return, they will be following in the footsteps of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao in coming out of retirement for an exhibition fight.

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BKFC to offer ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson N20m to come out of retirement

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For some reason, there are people out there who think it’s a good idea to fight Mike Tyson. And at least one challenger is ready to put his money where the former champ’s fist might wind up.

“I think I know what we need to do to make this thing happen,” Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship president David Feldman told Bleacher Report, which reported that the organization is set to offer Mike Tyson more than $20 million to come out of retirement.

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The 53-year-old Brooklyn native hasn’t fought in 15 years, but video or recent workouts showing Iron Mike training with the power and speed that once made him the most exciting fighter on Earth has renewed interest in what Tyson might be able to do now.

Tyson concluded one of those videos by throwing a barrage of hooks and uppercuts and saying “I’m back.”

Tyson’s rep told the Daily News on May 12 that the former champ is staying in shape, but has no matches lined up.

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The 5-foot-10, 240-pound bruiser said during an interview with rapper TI last month he might lace up the gloves for a good cause. The folks at BKFC trying to bait Tyson reportedly said they plan to sweeten their eight-figure offer to Tyson with charitable donations.

A boxing insider tells The News there have been at least four offers from fighters looking to challenge Tyson. Evander Holyfield, who beat Tyson twice before, said he’d like to get a piece of the fighter who famously bit off his ear in 1997, according to Reuters.

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The 57-year-old Holyfield told the BBC Tyson would have to ask for that fight because otherwise, it may look like he’s bullying Iron Mike, who’s 0-2 against him.

Tyson’s spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of an offer from BKFC.

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