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Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk potential undisputed heavyweight title bout could be finalised this year

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WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman believes Tyson Fury has the ‘hunger’ to return against Oleksandr Usyk and the governing body would welcome an ‘ultimate unification’ fight before the end of the year.

The governing body have asked Fury to confirm whether he intends to continue as WBC heavyweight champion by this Friday after the 34-year-old announced his desire to retire from the sport.

But Fury has since declared his intention to resume his career with a fight against Usyk, who retained his WBA, IBF and WBO belts with a split decision win over Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
“Tyson Fury is a unique man, his personality, his thinking is unique so I respect that, I respect him,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

“He has been so loyal to the WBC, he has been so representative and proud of the WBC.

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“I just hope that he makes the right decision, whichever it is.

“If he decides to hang up the gloves and retire, what a great way to do it, with money, with health, with his beautiful family.
“But if he has that hunger of going into the ring, which I believe is the case, it would be great to see him represent the WBC in a fight with Usyk or other championship fights he could have in the near future.”

Usyk previously became undisputed champion at cruiserweight and has sought to repeat this feat at heavyweight, calling out Fury in the aftermath of his rematch triumph over Joshua.

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“I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet,” said Usyk.

“I’m sure, I’m convinced he wants to fight me. I want to fight him and if I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.”

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Sulaiman is open to the prospect of an undisputed fight, saying: “Tyson Fury is the WBC champion of the world, he’s not holding the ‘other belt’, he’s holding the WBC Championship which is the Championship of Muhammed Ali, George Foreman, Frazier, Tyson, Lennox Lewis etc.

“I’m very proud of Tyson Fury, he’s a tremendous fighter and I am sure he wishes to continue boxing and a fight to unify all the championships in the division would be tremendous.

“We have given Tyson Fury the time to evaluate and be ready to make a proper decision and have until this Friday, on the 26th, to receive his written confirmation of what he will be deciding to do.

“But my personal opinion is that boxing is going through a great stage, a great moment, it will be great to see Fury against Usyk in the ultimate unification of the division.”

Asked about a likely timeframe for a Fury vs Usyk fight, Sulaiman said: “We are in August, there is still time to finalise and close up the year, or early next year.

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“If that fight takes place it’s a momentous, huge event, wherever it takes place, and I would need a good time for preparation for proper marketing and for them to both get mentally and physically ready for such a great fight.”

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Boniface named among Bundesliga’s most skilful stars

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Bayer Leverkusen star Victor Boniface has secured a nomination among the most skilful players in the ongoing 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign so far.

After his move from Union SG last July, the Super Eagles striker wasted no time making an impact under the guidance of manager Xabi Alonso.

Boniface’s initial burst in Germany was nothing short of impressive, netting ten goals in 16 league matches.

However, his promising run hit an abrupt halt due to a groin injury, forcing him to miss the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations held in Ivory Coast.

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Despite his current injury setback, the striker’s noteworthy performances have not gone unnoticed.

The spotlight now shines on a particular display of individual brilliance during Leverkusen’s Bundesliga clash against RB Leipzig at the Bay Arena in August 2023.

In that game, Boniface executed a cunning feint, deceiving his marker into anticipating a right-footed shot, only to cleverly pass the ball with his left foot. Although he didn’t find the net, Leverkusen emerged victorious with a 3-2 scoreline.

Boniface shares the skills spotlight with four other notable players: Andrej Kramaric, Jadon Sancho, Felix Nmecha, and Xavi Simons.

To participate in the voting process, fans can visit the Bundesliga’s official website and select their choice among the nominated players.

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At the time of this report, Jadon Sancho leads the polls with an impressive 75% of the votes. Xavi Simons secures the second position with 17%, while Boniface currently holds 5%. Hoffenheim’s Kramaric and Dortmund’s Nmecha trail behind with 1% and 2% of the votes, respectively.

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BREAKING: Bayern Munich to part ways with Tuchel

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German giants Bayern Munich will be parting ways with its manager, Thomas Tuchel, at the end of the season, Sky Germany reports.

Theheute reports that Tuchel will leave Bayern after both sides had “fair and positive discussions” and came to an agreement.

An official announcement is set to be made in the coming days by Bayern.

The Bundesliga champions have also reportedly started a search for a new coach with Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp among the top contenders.

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Details later…

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Osimhen May Miss Napoli’s Champions League Clash with Barcelona

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Napoli could be without Victor Osimhen when they host Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 after the striker missed their last-gasp 1-1 home draw with Genoa in Serie A yesterday due to fatigue.

Osimhen returned to his Italian club after helping Nigeria reach the Africa Cup of Nations final which they lost 2-1 to hosts Côte d’Ivoire last Sunday.

“According to him and the doctors, the boy is at his lowest,” coach Walter Mazzarri told DAZN.

“Coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations it wouldn’t have been the best choice to risk it and let him play for a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes, so the doctor told me.”

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The tournament took its toll on Osimhen, who suffered stomach pains ahead of the semi-final against South Africa and was only cleared to play the day before the match.

The 25-year-old scored one goal in the tournament but his performances played an important role as Nigeria reached the final for the eighth time.

“Today (Saturday) he had an anti-fatigue training, tomorrow (Sunday) he will train. We hope to have him ready for Barcelona (but) his presence will not be certain,” Mazzarri said.

“Since I arrived I’ve never had him. He was injured, I had to recover him gradually. Then there was the Africa Cup of Nations,” the Napoli gaffer concluded.

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