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Okolie To Fight For Vacant WBO Cruiserweight Title As Anthony Joshua Undercard



British professional boxer, Lawrence Okolie, will contest the vacant WBO cruiserweight world title against Krzysztof Glowacki on the Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev undercard.

The bout holds on Saturday, December 12 at the O2 Arena in London, as Joshua defends his title against Pulev, the IBF mandatory challenger.

Okolie (14-0, 11 KOs), who held the Commonwealth cruiserweight title from 2018 to 2019, is the current EBU European cruiserweight champion after beating Yves Ngabu last October, the last of his four fights in 2019 which each were won by knockout.

Polish fighter Glowacki (31-2, 19 KOs) won the WBO world title in 2015 when he knocked out Germany’s Marco Huck, but lost his title to Oleksandr Usyk, who has since moved up to the heavyweight division. He then won the WBO interim championship in November 2018 but fell to Mairis Breidis in 2019.

“It has been a long and hard road to get here,” said Okolie.

“I’m very excited and blessed to have this opportunity; I’ll be grabbing it with both hands. I will become Britain’s next world champion on December 12.

“Glowacki is a great fighter and he is someone that I looked up to when I first started boxing. I believe he won the world title the same year I was pushing to try and get on the Olympic team when I’d had 15 amateur fights.

“He’s a former two-time world champion and has only lost twice to two elite opponents. He’s going to be my biggest test on paper as a professional. He is a consummate professional and will do everything in his power to win.”

Glowacki, who decribed Okolie as “big, strong and awkward”, said, “I will retrieve my belt and I will bring it back to Poland.

“I will become WBO world champion for the third time in my career, there is no other option. I am prepared for a hard battle because Lawrence Okolie is big, strong and awkward, but the belt is mine and I will bring it back home.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn said the fighter is a moment of truth for Okolie.

“In just 14 fights Lawrence Okolie has done it all and now it’s the moment of truth,” he said.

“Britain has the chance to crown another world champion but Lawrence has it all to do against a great fighter and former world champ in Krysztof Glowacki and someone who has mixed consistently at the top level. This is going to be a huge night and a huge moment for Lawrence — we can’t wait.”


Man United’s Ivorian Teenager Stars in Champions League; Over 30 Africans Feature



Another week of interesting contests in Europe’s elite football club cup competition, the UEFA Champions League saw at least 30 African players feature.

Results were nothing short of spectacular as giants fell and small teams rose to get counted in the mix.

African footballers who featured all across Europe gave good accounts of themselves. The star of the show this week was Manchester United’s 18-year old Ivorian international, Amad Diallo who is on loan at Atalanta.

Diallo moved to Manchester United from Atalanta in the summer and was immediately loaned back to the Italian side.

On Tuesday when he made his European debut, Diallo caught the eye by showing flashes of brilliance that have improved his rating amongst Manchester United faithful. He is expected to join the Red Devils in January.

Elsewhere, Nigeria’s Zaidu Sanusi gave another impressive performance against Manchester City as FC Porto held the Citizens to a goalless stalemate. Sanusi stole the show last week when he scored his first Champions League goal to round up a great performance.

Read: More Than 30 Africans Involved In UEFA Champions League Matchday 4

Chelsea and Senegal’s Edouard Mendy continued his strong start to life with the Blues as he kept another clean sheet in Seville where his team ran out 4-0 victors over Sevilla. It was his 9th clean sheet in 12 games.

In Red Bull Salzburg’s 3-1 win away at Lokomotiv Moscow, at least 6 African youngsters were in action, with 18-year-old half Nigerian, Karim Adeyemi getting on the scoresheet in the game.

Others who featured in the game were Malians Sekou Koita and Mohamed Kamara, Zambia’s Enoch Mwepu and Patson Daka and Cameroon’s Jerome Onguene.

Moroccan international, Achraf Hakimi featured as Inter Milan defeated Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-2.

Senegal’s Papy Cisse was in action for Greek champions Olympiakos as they lost 2-1 to Olympique Marseille at the Stade De Velodrome. Guinea’s Mady Camara, Morocco’s Youseff El-Arabi and Algeria’s Hilal El Soudani completed the African quartet at Olympiacos.

Cameroon international, Eric Choupo-Moting played from start to finish in Bayern Munich’s 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid. The former PSG attacker didn’t score in the game that had 17-year old Anglo-Nigerian youngster, Jamal Musiala feature for Bayern Munich.

Cameroon’s Joel Matip, Senegalese, Sadio Mane and Egyptian star, Mohammed Salah were all present in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Ajax. The Dutch champions had Cameroon’s Andre Onana and Burkinabé, Lassina Traore featuring in the game.

Morrocan international, Nousair Mazraoui was also in action for Ajax as they lost advantage in their battle to make it to the next round.

In Red Bull Leipzig’s interesting 4-3 win away against Turkish champions, Istanbul Basaksehir, Malian Amadou Haidara featured for the Germans while Senegalese journeyman, Demba Ba was also dressed for the Turks. Cape Verde international Carlos Ponck also featured in the game.

Mali’s Hamari Traore was in action in for his French team in FC Krasnodar’s 1-0 win over Stade Rennes. Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo and Senegal’s Idrissa Gueye played parts in PSG’s 3-1 win at Old Trafford. Both players came on as second half substitutes for Manchester United and PSG respectively.

Lazio’s Ivory Coast international, Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro was in action in his team’s 1-1 away at the Signal Iduna Park, home ground of Borussia Dortmund.

Hungarian champions, Ferencvaros lost 3-0 to Barcelona at home with Ghanaian defender Abraham Frimpong featuring from start to finish in the encounter.

19-year-old Ivorian defender, Odilon Koussounou impressed as Club Brugge battered Zenit St. Petersburg 3-0. Nigeria’s Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure and Stephen Okereke played parts in the game.

Recall that Bonaventure was left out of Brugge’s last game over a team bus row.

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Sports News

1000 Fans To See Heavyweight Champion, Joshua’s Bout Against Pulev



Anglo-Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight world title match against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev will be seen by at least 1,000 spectators, promoters have announced.

Joshua, who will face Pulev at the SSE Arena in London is expected to be cheered by the home crowd in the first boxing match in the UK since March.

The Nigeria-born Joshua last fought Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr where he took his pound of flesh after suffering his first career loss to Ruiz in a fight that shook the boxing world.

Joshua currently holds the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts with Pulev being the first man to test his resolve after breakdowns in planned fights with Deontay Wilder.

Tickets for Joshua’s match on the 12th of December are to be sold for £100 per individual while VIP tickets will go for £1,000 per head.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am to see fans returning to our live boxing events,” Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said in a statement.

“Whilst the team have done an incredible job over the last 10 months we live and breathe through the energy and atmosphere that a live crowd generates. It’s so fitting that they can return for an AJ fight, when through the last few years he has broken all kinds of attendance records in the UK and beyond. This is such a positive move for boxing and all sport.”

Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) is one of the highest-selling boxers in history with his match against Alexander Povetkin in 2018 seen by 80,000 fans.

His match against Pulev, previously set for June, was initially expected to be sold out at the 60,000-seater Tottenham Stadium, London before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

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North Africa Sports

Moroccan Defender, Mohamed Abarhoun, Dies Of Stomach Cancer



Mohamed Abarhoun, Moroccan professional footballer, is dead.

Abarhoun, who played as a defender, died from stomach cancer aged 31.

Abarhoun’s former club Caykur Rizespor has confirmed that the seven-cap Morocco international passed away on Tuesday after being diagnosed with stomach cancer earlier this year.

In a statement the club said: “We have learned with sadness the news of the death of our former football player Mohamed Abarhoun, who has been receiving treatment for a while.

“We wish Allah’s mercy to Mohamed Abarhoun, who passed away, and our condolences to his family, relatives and community.”

Abarhoun spent seven years playing in Morocco for Moghreb Tetouan, where he won two league titles, before moving to Portuguese side Moreirense, who he left last year to join Rizespor.

At international level, the defender helped Morocco’s under-23 side qualify for the 2012 Olympics and went onto play twice at the Games in London.

He also played for Morocco at the 2014 African Nations Championship, the tournament for locally-based players, in South Africa as well as two friendlies.

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