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Usyk ‘Jumping In At The Deep End’, Says Anthony Joshua

Usyk ‘jumping in at the deep end’, says Anthony Joshua

British world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua praised Oleksandr Usyk for being bold in challenging him for his belts after just two bouts at the weight.

Joshua is set to face World Boxing Organization mandatory challenger Usyk in London on Saturday, with a crowd of some 60,000 expected at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the home of the Premier League club.

Joshua, whose World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation titles are also on the line, compared Usyk’s lack of experience to boxing legend Evander Holyfield’s before tackling a heavyweight championship fight.

Usyk – who moved up to heavyweight in 2018 after being undisputed cruiserweight world champion — beat Chazz Witherspoon in 2019 before easing to a points win last November over veteran Derek Chisora.

“When (Evander) Holyfield came up to heavyweight I think he had six fights at heavyweight before he fought for the championship belt,” said Joshua.

“Usyk’s fought two heavyweights. He’s jumping in at the deep end early on.

“But good luck to him – he must believe in himself. He wants to be at the top end early. It’s better to swim deep – get in there and get on with it – rather than tread water.

“You could still end up drowning anyway. You could still get caught in a current and drown. You might as well jump in the deep end and try to survive.”

Joshua, at 31 three years younger than his fellow 2012 Olympic champion, is likely to weigh in on Friday a stone heavier than Usyk.

“I’ve been doing a lot of sparring to be honest, which is also physical: pushing, shoving, defending,” said Joshua.

“I’ve been doing heavy bag work so maybe I’m just shedding a lot of the weight.”

Joshua needs to beat Usyk to keep alive the bout that most boxing fans want to see above all else — the all-British clash with fellow world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

That is also dependent on World Boxing Council champion Fury successfully coming through a third bout with American Deontay Wilder in October.

However, although Joshua will be favoured to see off Usyk he says the bout will not be won on who is physically more impressive but who wins the battle of the minds.

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Court Sacks 13 Ebonyi LG Bosses, 171 Councilors

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki has again nullified the Ebonyi Local Government Elections and sacked all the 13 Council chairmen in the state.

The court also sacked all the councilors and 171 ward chairmen of the state.

The court had on Aug. 25, nullified the council polls of May 31.

Ruling on the matter with suit NO: FHC/AI/CS/224/2022 on Friday, Justice Fatun Riman ordered the seizure of the monthly federal allocation of the chairmen pending when rightful Chief Executives were elected into office.

Fatun restated that the councils election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) on May 31 was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Mudi Erenede, Counsel to the plaintiff said he was happy over the judgment and commended the court.

“In the judgement today, the court has agreed that the Ebonyi State High court has no powers to override or set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court because it is not an Appeal Court.

“Those people, who are parading themselves as chairmen are not there legally.

“They were appointed by whoever that appointed them. CBN, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance are all defendants in this suits,” he stated.

The counsel to Ebonyi State Government, Mr Roy Nweze, said there was no need responding to a judgment that had already been delivered by the court.

Nweze said that the matter would be appealed without delay.

(NAN)

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Naval College Graduates 245 Officers, Personnel

The newly graduated personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 of the Nigerian Naval Engineering College (NNEC), Sapele in Delta, have been urged to remain committed to the service of the nation.

Rear Adm. Monday Unurhiere, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command, made the plea at the graduation ceremony of the 245 Under Training Personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 in Sapele.

Unurhiere, represented by Rear Adm. Baratuaipri Iyalla, said that the call became necessary in view of the security, economic and social challenges currently facing the country.

The naval chief urged the graduands to make deliberate efforts to improve themselves on the job by way of taking advantage of modern technology and also tapping into the wealth of experience of their superiors.

“Let me remind you that as officers of the Nigerian Navy, you are charged with enormous responsibility and your unswerving allegiance is to the Nation.

“The confidence reposed in you must not be taking for granted, especially at this time that our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges.

“As such, you may find yourself being called upon to serve beyond your technical capability due to the prevailing situation in the country,” he said.

Unurhiere acknowledged the efforts of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, for creating the enabling environment for training and continued financial support to NNEC.

According to him, this has helped the College to contribute more to the technological advancement of Nigerian Navy and the nation at large.

He urged the graduands, especially the under training personnel, to maintain the current tempo in sustaining training and other naval activities.

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NNPC Disburses N15bn For Lagos-Badagry Expressway Reconstruction

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) has disbursed N15 billion for the reconstruction of the Lagos Badagry Expressway under the Federal Government Road Infrastructure Tax Credit (RITC) Scheme.

The N15 billion represents a 100 percent payment of the funding of the Lagos-Badagry road rehabilitation under the tax credit funding of the NNPC Ltd.

The NNPC Group Chief Executive, Mr Mele Kyari, made this known on Thursday when he led NNPC’s management team with some top government officials to inspect the ongoing rehabilitation and expansion of Lagos-Badagry Expressway (Agbara Junction-Nigeria/Benin Border).

The road under rehabilitation is being funded by the NNPC Ltd. under the Federal Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme.

The execution of the scheme is being carried out in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as the supervisor and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for NNPC’s tax obligations deductions.

This is in response to address the plight faced by petroleum products marketers in transportation which affects nationwide distribution.

Kyari said the fund disbursed was part of the N621.24 billion earmarked for the reconstruction of 21 roads nationwide under the scheme.

He expressed satisfaction over the stage of the road development.

“We are covering 1,804.6mkm across the country and taking another set of over a trillion naira investment on infrastructure in Nigeria, believing that with the tax credit system which Mr President has put in place, very soon there will be massive change.

“NNPC as the enabler will consider from its cash flow and fund whatever FIRS and Ministry of works approve for the company.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, represented by the Director, Highways, Roads and Rehabilitation of the Ministry, Mr Folorunsho Esan, said the intervention of the NNPC sped up the reconstruction of the expressway.

Esan said that the project was 40 per cent completed.

“In the next 12 months we should be able to deliver this project because the drainages are in place, just for earth works and pavement works, it cannot take us more than 12 months,” he said.

Speaking on the gridlock being caused by the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project, he said the contractor would clear all impediments and move out of site by December 15 to make the highway free for Yuletide.

Earlier, Mrs Olukorede Keisha, Federal Ministry of Works Engineer supervising the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project, gave a brief of the project, listing the drains, culverts and other construction works done on various stretches.

Oba Israel Okoya, Oba of Ibereko in Badagry Royal Majesty, who lauded the Federal Government and NNPC for the intervention, said before the reconstruction, the road was in a terrible situation making traffic unbearable for motorists.

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