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Anthony Joshua Secures Second Round Knockout Against Ngannou



Former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua halted Francis Ngannou’s nascent climb to crossover stardom Friday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, defeating the mixed martial arts star via second-round knockout.

Joshua (28-3, 25 knockouts) made quick work of Ngannou, ending the fight with a massive right overhand that knocked the Cameroonian out cold. Ngannou (0-2, 17-3 in MMA) was fighting in his second professional boxing match after claiming the UFC heavyweight crown in 2021.

“It is what it is,” Joshua said on the DAZN broadcast after the match. “When I saw the fight between Francis and Tyson Fury, I realized he could fight. And I wanted a piece of that. He’s an inspiration. He’s a great champion and this result doesn’t take anything away from his capabilities.”

Ngannou’s October bout against Fury, the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, went decidedly different. The 37-year-old MMA star entered that match as a substantial underdog but dropped a stunned Fury with a left hook in the third round. After 10 frames, Fury escaped with a controversial split decision victory on the scorecards.

Ngannou had said boxing was his first love before he discovered MMA. But that showing in his professional boxing debut sparked excitement.

Ahead of Friday’s fight, Joshua said he would not underestimate Ngannou as some believed Fury had. His coach, Ben Davison, said Ngannou carried a “false sense of confidence” into the match.

He landed a powerful right jab to drop Ngannou late in the first round. Joshua connected with the right hand to drop him again in the second round. Seconds after Ngannou returned to his feet, Joshua delivered a crushing right overhand that flattened his opponent on the canvas. Ngannou was given oxygen by the ringside doctors and regained consciousness.

“I told him he shouldn’t leave boxing,” Joshua said of Ngannou. “He can do well. He’s fought two of the best.”

For Ngannou, a decisive defeat potentially bruises his chances of a rematch against Fury, who is scheduled to face Oleksandr Usyk on May 18 for the undisputed heavyweight title. After leaving the UFC for the rival Professional Fighters League last year, Ngannou is scheduled to return to the cage to face Renan Ferreira in what will be his PFL debut and his first MMA bout since January 2022.
Usyk defeated Joshua in 2021 to capture his title belts, then repeated the feat in 2022 to retain them. Promoter Eddie Hearn has said the winner of Friday’s match will face the winner of the May 18 fight, opening the door for a potential blockbuster fight between Joshua and Fury, which Hearn has failed to secure in the past.

“My team will shape my future,” Joshua said. “I’m just here to fight. I will go back to my cage and lock myself away and I will come back when it’s time to fight.”

Source: WashingtonPost

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Finidi Flop: NFF Mulls Employment of Expatriate Technical Adviser




The Nigeria Football Federation has decided to appoint an expatriate Technical Adviser to oversee the Super Eagles.

This move comes ahead of the upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers and the remaining 2026 World Cup qualifying matches, and is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.

The decision was contained in a communiqué made available to newsmen on Thursday.

According to the communiqué, the Executive Committee of NFF held a meeting on Wednesday, to deliberate on important issues.

“The Executive Committee wholeheartedly apologised to Nigerians for the dismal output and subsequent very poor returns of the Senior Men National Team, Super Eagles, in four out of 10 matches in the ongoing qualification series for the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals,” the communiqué partly read.

They assured Nigerians that they will put necessary measures in place to ensure a better-prepared squad ahead of the AFCON 2025 qualifiers in September and the resumption of the World Cup qualifiers.

“The Executive Committee resolved to employ an expatriate Technical Adviser for the Super Eagles in the coming weeks, ahead of the AFCON qualifiers and the remaining FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

“The committee resolved to beef up the NFF Technical Department with more qualitative hands. Equally, the Technical and Development Sub-Committee will be re-jigged with immediate effect,” the communique added.

The Board also expressed displeasure with the poor attitude of some of the players “notwithstanding the challenges that attended the team’s preparations for the Day 3 and Day 4 games of the FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, owing to a 38-hour nationwide industrial action.”

The board decided in favour of a more robust scouting programme of outstanding Nigeria-eligible players from across the globe, “who can add tremendous value to the nation’s flagship team.”

Super Eagles head coach, Finidi George, came under criticisms after the Eagles suffered a 2-1 loss to Benin Republic on Monday on match-day 4 of the CAF 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

The defeat leaves the Super Eagles with a disappointing three points out of a potential 12, following a string of draws in their opening three matches.

The former international was appointed new head coach of the Nigerian men national team on April 29, 2024.

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Manchester City Wins Fourth-Successive Premier League Title




Manchester City won a record fourth-straight Premier League title on Sunday by beating West Ham 3-1 in the final game of the season.

City is the first team to be crowned champion of English soccer’s top division four years in a row after holding off the challenge of second-place Arsenal, which beat Everton 2-1.

Two goals from Phil Foden in the first half set Pep Guardiola’s team on course for its latest title. Mohammed Kudus pulled a goal back for West Ham with a stunning overhead kick, but Rodri restored City’s advantage as it marched toward a sixth title in seven seasons.

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Nigerian Tennis Star, Quadri Aruna Shines at 2024 ITTF Africa Cup in Rwanda




By Dolapo Aina

May 14th will remain a remarkable day for Nigerian table tennis community and Nigerian table tennis legend, Quadri Aruna as he won the International Table Tennis Federation Africa Cup. The tourney took place at the Kigali Arena in the city of Kigali, Rwanda. The Nigerian table tennis maestro had a sublime 4-0 victory over Mohamed EL Beiali of Egypt.

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Dina Meshref who is an Egyptian table tennis player and who is African number one table tennis player were the newly crowned ITTF Africa Cup champions by winning the 2024 edition of the tournament in the men and women singles respectively.

Nigeria’s Aruna, had an unstoppable and commanding win in the final against Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali with a 4-0 (11-5, 11-6, 12-10, 11-3) win to emerge as the new Africa Cup champion. It is noteworthy to state that Quadri Aruna lost the title to Egypt’s Omar Assar in 2018.

After the final, Aruna stated that; “There is never an easy win in any competition, and I am happy that I gave my best and my best resulted in the victory. It has always been in me not to give up, even when I am down, and I am happy that all my hardwork paid off with the victory. I must commend Rwanda for providing excellent facilities and great hospitality for us, the players, and I look forward to returning again to this beautiful country.”

He is quoted to have stated; “I never gave up on my dream, it doesn’t matter where you come from, I came from a small place in Oyo state in Nigeria, and it was really difficult growing up, I just want to tell them that something great is very possible to happen in every individual.”

Egypt’s sensation Meshref was at her best after coming back from 2-0 down to defeat a fellow Egyptian, Mariam Alhodaby, 4-3. Meshref becomes the new Africa Cup champion after losing the last two editions in the final.

In her own words; “I am happy that I was able to come back, especially coming back from an injury I sustained before the tournament. I thank my family and my mother who sacrificed to be with me in Rwanda. It was a tough win for me here in this beautiful country and I will cherish this moment for a very long time to come.

She further stated that; “This title means a lot to me, just so happy to be able to fight and be able to reclaim this title, I wouldn’t have done it without my family, especially my mother who’s in the crowd. Thank you so much and of course, I want to thank God.”

Despite trailing 2-0, she fought harder with every setback, ultimately earning her 14th title on the African Continent.

Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu also congratulated Nigeria’s table tennis legend, Mr. Aruna Quadri, on winning the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Cup title.

In an official statement, the President stated; “Mr. Quadri achieved a resounding victory in the final match of the 2024 ITTF Africa Cup in Rwanda, reclaiming his title and sealing his place as Africa’s table tennis champion.”

President Tinubu commended the table tennis star for his dogged pursuit of excellence even in the face of gnawing obstacles, declaring that the zeal for distinction, the hardiness to succeed, and the inventiveness to solve complex problems are the exceptional qualities that define Nigerians.

Nigeria’s team at the end of the ITTF Africa Cup 2024 in Kigali had Men’s singles Gold won by Quadri Aruna, Men’s singles Bronze won by Olajide Omotayo and Women’s singles Bronze won by Edem Offiong.

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