Boxing or mediocrity - What does Bash Ali want?
- The Guinness book of records fight is no longer visible
- The Bash Ali brand has been ridiculed
- Sports and corruption moves hand in hand
As a child, Bash Ali was a popular name and icon used within my family circle, sometimes my uncles will say 'I will Bash Ali you now' to me when I am wrong. You know he was a household name. I think he still is a VIP in Nigeria.
I got to know about his proposed Guinness fight through an sms that he sent to my phone as he always send me updates of his struggles on a regular basis. Bash Ali was any reporters delight before the existence of his record-fight.
Bash Ali proposed a World Guinness book of records fight which will see him going back to the boxing ring and fight. However, another boxing champion has requested a fisti-cuffs from the legendary boxer but he refused.
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At some point Bash Ali was sleeping at a motorpark in Abuja, he also gate-crashed at the PDP headquarters on several occasions and I have visited him more than twice on his invitation to the NEXIM bank headquarters in Abuja - a place he turned temporarily to his place of abode, protesting with his loyal supporters.
It is so ridiculous to see a man who has laboured hard for the nation, a man who ought to be a mentor, a man who should be a boxing teacher or analyst, a man who should be the voice and face of boxing in Africa, subjected to such acts. It is a shame, and I ask in particular what does he want?
Judging from my meeting with him in Abuja, Bash Ali is hurt and embittered by the way he was treated in a country he believed to have served in fairness and love. He once said some Athletes also got gifts from the government - well, as they say fingers are not equal and will never be unless they are cut into size.
This fight according to Bash Ali will enable him to enter the book of records as the oldest man to have gone back to the ring. I am opportuned to have seen some documents where he accused NEXIM BANK and also a former sports minister of sports of indulging in corruption, I think the case should be investigated by the federal government or the NOC.
I can not say he was right or wrong, and will not take sides as we know that corruption is the order of the day in our dear nation - infact, anything is possible.
But, Mr Ali did not tread on the right path by resorting to violence, assaults and threats which I absolutely fault him on. On the other hand do we say it was because he refused to play along and accept bribe as he alleged? Probably if he danced to the gallery, something would have come out of it for him and both parties could have smiled to the bank - and that is tantamount to corruption.
So many questions to be answered and the truth is somewhere as I always say there are three sides to a story, your side, my side and the truth."
This same fight has led Bash Ali to Kuje prison, bundled to jail and locked up like a criminal and yet he is a hero, how sad!
On the struggle of this record-fight, over 200 companies were said to have rejected the sponsorship of his project as we know that Bash Ali has been attracting controversies since he started pushing for the federal government to sponsor his fight. And recently, he wrote the Nigerian President Buhari, Muhammadu Buhari concerning this fight, and how long will this continue?! I wonder?!
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I am a big fan of Bash Ali but I will suggest he mentor the upcoming pugilists- that is if they want to listen because he has been exposed to ridicule, assault and disgrace some even tagged him, trouble maker, some even said he has mental problems, what wont we hear? He has come out himself to talk about a likely cancer that he is nursing.
Anyways, my advice is that he should stop chasing the fight and concentrate on mentoring and lecturing the upcoming boxers, he should use his energy and time to source for more recognition for the game.
Some corporate organisations are trying to revive the fight, these are the people he should work with to save and enhance the image of the sports where he once excelled.
I wish you all the best Bash Ali, can you ceasefire and move onto better things, the world needs you, Nigerians need you, that aspiring/amateur boxer needs your expertise and help.
Aderonke Bello is an associate editor and the head of the Sports desk at Legit.ng.
This article expresses the author’s opinion only. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Legit.ng or its editors.
Her twitter handle is @Aderonkew