World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury must face Dillian Whyte in his next title defence following a ruling on Tuesday by the World Boxing Council (WBC).
The WBC said Whyte has now been installed as mandatory challenger to Fury, who retained his crown with a thrilling knockout victory over Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in October.
“The WBC hereby orders the start of the free negotiations period pursuant to the WBC Rules & Regulations for the mandatory bout between WBC World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury and Mandatory Challenger and WBC Interim World Champion Dillian Whyte,” the WBC said in a statement on Twitter.
The WBC initially said in October Fury would only have to face Whyte if he was unable to arrange an undisputed world title fight with Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, the unified WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion.
However after the 30-day window for Fury and Usyk to agree terms expired, the WBC have now moved to install Whyte as Fury’s next opponent.
Whyte last month accused Fury of “running away” from a planned showdown.
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“Fury has been mandated to fight me twice… he just keeps making excuses,” Whyte told Sky Sports.
“Hopefully now he’s got no choice. What’s he going to do? Throw the belt in the bin and run away from more money than he got to fight Wilder?”
Usyk is expected to face a rematch against former champion Anthony Joshua in early 2022. Usyk outclassed Joshua in September to dethrone the former unified champion.
I’m in Denmark to improve myself, says youthful Mukairu
Nigerian striker, Paul Mukairu, has expressed his excitement after his ₦900million move to former champions .of Denmark FC Copenhagen.
The 22-year-old winger dumped Turkish side Antalyaspor after three years with the former Turkish champions.
Mukairu has seen his reputation rise tremendously since he joined Antalyaspor in 2019. Within four months of his arrival in Turkey, he made it to the Antalyaspor first team, scoring three goals and assisting one in his first season.
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He spent last season on loan at Belgian Jupiler League side Anderlecht, where he scored two goals and assisted four in 23 league appearances.
Before his departure to Copenhagen, Mukairu had already scored three goals in 20 appearances for the Scorpions this season.
The Abuja-born forward is a quick player, and although he is a winger, he can play as a striker.
The pacy forward was all smiles at his unveiling and expressed his happiness whilst stating his readiness to become better at his new club.
“I feel very happy to be here, the welcome was really nice, it was amazing. I’m so happy to be in this great club.” He told Copenhagen TV.
“I have a lot to learn, and here is a good place to improve myself with the people surrounding me”, he added.
The 22-year-old is yet to make an appearance for the Super Eagles, but if he can continue with his eye-catching displays at his new side, it would only be a matter of time before it happens.
Arsenal gave me a ‘good slap’, says Saliba
William Saliba has revealed how he was given a rude awakening on his arrival at Arsenal back in July 2019.
The French defender joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne for around £27million.
But he is yet to play for the senior side and last summer was shipped off to Marseille on loan.
Now the 20-year-old has admitted his time in the reserves was like a ‘slap in the face’ and hasn’t ruled out a permanent move away from the Emirates.
He told RMC: “Before going to Arsenal, I said to myself I was going to play, I was sure, I was wondering who I would play alongside.
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“I arrive, I play zero matches. I played for the U23s. That gave me a good slap.
“Things go so fast in football. I don’t want to think about the future. I am going to give my all. Then there will be discussions in summer.”
Reports earlier this month suggested Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was preparing to give Saliba a chance in the senior squad next season.
The centre-back has turned in a string of impressive performances to propel Marseille to third in the Ligue 1 table.
According to L’Equipe, Arsenal are set to reject l‘OM’s attempts to make the deal permanent in the summer.
On his progress, Arteta said earlier this season: “I know that sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money that the club has spent trying to bring him in, to send him on loan.
“But a lot of things have happened to him, he’s a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well. And giving him three or four games is not enough.”
Senegal bench on Mane recovery watch ahead E/Guinea clash
The Senegal technical bench are still monitoring captain Sadio Mane’s recovery ahead of Sunday’s AFCON 2021 quarterfinal date against Equatorial Guinea in Yaoundé.
Mane was taken off in the 70th minute of Senegal’s 2-0 victory over Cape Verde of their last 16 meeting on January 25 with a suspected concussion after earlier colliding with opposition goalkeeper Vozniha who was sent-off in the 56th minute following a second booking for dangerous play.
Senegal national team technical director Mayacine Mar told Sud Quotiden that the bench was observing both Mane and Bamba Dieng who sustained a knock in training.
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“Bamba had a little knock but it’s not bad. The doctors preferred to keep him in treatment. Sadio too, but he is doing very well. He feels no pain. He will be operational for the quarter-finals. Maybe tomorrow he will resume training,” Mar said.
Mane is Senegal’s leading scorer at AFCON 2021 on two goals after scoring his second of the tournament with Senegal’s first goal in the victory over Cape Verde.
Senegal are chasing a second successive AFCON final appearance after finishing second in 2019.
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