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Super Eagles beat Tunisia to win AFCON 2019 bronze

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Odion Ighalo’s early goal gave Nigeria a 1-0 win over Tunisia in their third-place playoff at the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old forward, who is presently the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, was gifted an easy tap-in following a Tunisian defensive mix-up at the Al Salam Stadium.

Jamilu Collins’ cross from the left was poorly parried by goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifa against the legs of defender Yassine Meriah, who tried to stop it from going over the line before Ighalo pounced to give Nigeria a third-minute lead.

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It proved a costly blunder for Tunisia, who lost Sunday’s semi-final in extra time to Senegal in similar circumstances.

Ben Cherifa attempted to make up for his error with some good saves in the second half, first denying Samuel Chukwueze’s left-footed shot just after the hour mark before saving two efforts from substitute Samuel Kalu in stoppage time.

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Nigeria, who dominated the game, have won the bronze medal at eight different Cup of Nations’ tournaments.

Algeria play Senegal in the Cup of Nations final in Cairo on Friday.

 

 

Reuters

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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.

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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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