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Bash Ali: I went from millionaire to nothing for resisting corruption in Nigerian sports

Bash Ali: I went from millionaire to nothing for resisting corruption in Nigerian sports
February 27
16:55 2024

Bash Ali, former world cruiserweight champion, has narrated how he went from “a millionaire in dollars to zeronaire in Naira” for saying “no to corruption” in Nigerian sports.

Ali shared his ordeal in a post celebrating his 68th birthday on his official Facebook page on Tuesday.

The former world cruiserweight champion fought his last bout in 2004, where he knocked out Tony Booth, the then British cruiserweight champion, in the fourth round.

He has been aiming to clinch the Guinness World Record for the oldest boxing champion since.

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Recanting the struggle to achieve his dream, Ali said he has suffered “in vain” to host the record bout in Nigeria “for 17 years” and “despite juicy offers to fight outside of Nigeria”.

The boxer said he was rendered penniless, “beaten and injured,” and “detained 8 times at various police stations in Abuja” because “I say no to corruption”.

Ali added that he will “fight until I am 70 years, retire young and healthy with a lot of money” and become the “president of Nigeria.”

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“Today, Tuesday, February 27, is my birthday. For 17 years, I struggled in vain to host in my country, Nigeria my Guinness World Record Boxing Championship Fight because I was bold to say no to corruption in Sport in particular and in Nigeria in general,” the former world champion said.

“In 17 years, I went from being a millionaire in dollars to zeronaire in Naira. In 17 years, I was beaten and injured and I had to be admitted twice and treated at the National Hospital in Abuja. In 17 years, I was detained 8 times at various police stations in Abuja.

“In 17 years, I was once detained at Kuje Prison for 43 days. I went through hell in my country not because I am a criminal but because I say no to corruption. Despite juicy offers to fight outside of Nigeria,

“I never gave up on my dream to fight in Nigeria, and I never gave up on Nigeria. Today, our dream is finally becoming a reality, and because I am an extraordinary being, I am going to fight until I am 70 years, retire young and healthy with a lot of money and then go on to be the president of Nigeria. This is my ultimate goal, so mark my words. Thank you very much for always being by my side. I appreciate you always.”

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In 2021, Ali had accused Sunday Dare, former minister of youth and sports development, of extorting “millions of naira” from him as part of the process to organise the world record boxing title fight for him.

It took an order from a high court in Abuja to restrain the boxer from making further defamatory publications about the former minister.

 

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