The Nigerian government has made it clear why it would not involve itself in the proposed world record fight of former cruiserweight boxing champion, Bash Ali.
The novelty boxing match, Guinness World Boxing Project, is being promoted by Ali, who has been pressuring officials to endorse the fight.
The government says the proposed bout falls under the purview of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), being a professional category that is purely a business concern.
In a series of documents and correspondence with Ali, the boxer has been informed through his lawyer, B.O. Nafagha & Co. to refrain from acts that interfere with the activities of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
Ali has now lost the ability to coerce the Ministry into supporting the novelty bout as it was found to have acted on instruction from the Presidency, which had directed that it should not interfere in a matter over which another organization has jurisdiction.
A letter written to Ali’s lawyer read, “the Ministry under the directive of Mr. President in a letter, dated 10th March, 2020 made it clear that it is not the proper platform for your client to realize his pet project.”
It further said “And as a final note I am directed to advise your client to restrain from engaging in any act capable of creating a difficult atmosphere for the Ministry and its staff to carry out their functions.”
The proposed world record bout would make 63-year-old Ali, who in 1985 made history as the first World Boxing Federation cruiser-weight boxing champion from Africa, the oldest boxer to win a title.