Former World Cruiserweight Champion, Bash Ali, has sensationally claimed that he is in negotiations to fight immediate past WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO champion Andy Ruiz Jr in his much-vaunted effort to enter the Guinness Record as the oldest man to fight in a boxing match in Africa.
The 63-year-old Ali who has not fought professionally for over 15 years, made the outlandish claims in a telephone chat on Sports Zone, a popular sports show on radio station Lagos Talks on Wednesday.
The boxer said Andy Ruiz Jr, a man more than half his age and in a superior weight category, was one of two boxers being considered for the history-making bout.
Ruiz Jr knocked out Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight titles before losing the belts in a rematch last December.
The fighter who made history as Africa’s first-ever World Cruiserweight Champion in 1985 claimed to have kept fit in his last decade and half of professional inactivity by training every day and “eating once every three weeks”.
Ali, who had tried to stage a version of this fight nearly every year for the past 15 years and has harangued every government in power in that timeframe, gave vent to his frustrations about the apparent lack of support from the federal government and Nigerians in general.
“Why can’t the government support something that can put the country in the history books?” Ali queried.
Ali recently embarked on a media blitz to drum up support for his long-held dream.
However, after claiming to have secured approval from President Muhammadu Buhari for the bout to go ahead with government support, the sports ministry sent him a strongly-worded letter warning him to desist from peddling false claims in the president’s name.