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New footage shows Mike Tyson coaching Francis Ngannou for his boxing debut against Tyson Fury. 

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Mike Tyson, the former ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’, is mentoring Francis Ngannou, the UFC heavyweight champion, for his boxing debut against Tyson Fury, the WBC world champion. Ngannou is known for his devastating knockout power, having stopped all but one of his eleven UFC wins by punches. He is one of the most feared strikers in MMA history. Tyson, who retired in 2005, was also a fearsome puncher in his prime, knocking out twenty-five of his first twenty-seven opponents and becoming the youngest heavyweight champion ever. He has stayed involved in boxing as a podcaster and a trainer. Tyson shared a video of his intense training sessions with Ngannou on his social media, hoping to help him pull off a huge upset. The Fury-Ngannou fight is set for October 26 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but it will not be for the heavyweight title and will only last ten rounds. Boxing fans are not giving Ngannou much of a chance against Fury, who is widely regarded as one of the best boxers in the world.

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Bukayo Saka named Young Player of the Year at the PFA Awards

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In his third nomination, the exceptional performances of the 21-year-old during the previous season captured the attention and votes of his peers in the Professional Footballers’ Association. Emerging as the victor, Bukayo secured the highest number of votes, outshining teammate Gabriel Martinelli. Martinelli, a strong contender with 15 Premier League goals, shared the top scorer spot with Martin Odegaard.

Erling Haaland of Manchester City, Jacob Ramsey of Aston Villa, Evan Ferguson of Brighton, and former Seagull Moises Caicedo, now with Chelsea, were among the other contenders. Yet, Bukayo’s outstanding season took center stage, achieving a career-best 15 goals across all competitions and providing 11 assists. He featured in all 38 Premier League games for the second consecutive season and showcased an impressive performance during the 2022 World Cup for England, netting three times in four matches as the team progressed to the quarter-finals.

The season finale brought news of Bukayo’s commitment, signing a new long-term contract with the club he joined at the age of eight. In the previous term, he secured the Football London Young Player of the Year award and claimed the third position in the Football Writer’s Association Player of the Year voting. Nominated for both the Premier League’s Player and Young Player of the Season awards, Bukayo clinched the esteemed PFA prize.

The 50th year of the award’s legacy since its inception in 1973/74, Bukayo becomes the 45th recipient and the sixth Arsenal player to claim the honor. He joins the esteemed ranks of players such as Tony Adams, Paul Merson, Nicolas Anelka, Cesc Fabregas, and Jack Wilshere. At the Lowry Theatre in Manchester, Jack Wilshere presented the trophy to Bukayo, crafting a touching moment on stage as two prominent Hale End products united in the spotlight.

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Cameroon Calls Back Man Utd Goalkeeper Onana for AFCON 2023 Qualifiers against Burundi

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Cameroon’s 24-man squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Burundi includes Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana. He had previously retired from the team due to conflicts with coach Rigobert Song after the Qatar World Cup. Speculation about his return ended with confirmation from the sports minister, Prof. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, following a call from Cameroon football legend Samuel Eto’o, head of FECAFOOT. Onana’s last game for the Indomitable Lions was in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, replaced by Devis Epassy. Other regular players like Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko-Ekambi are also named. Facing Burundi on September 12, Cameroon aims to secure a place in the 2024 AFCON, where they’re currently second in Group C.

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A historic day for African basketball, with South Sudan and Cape Verde getting World Cup wins

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — South Sudan is the world’s youngest nation, gaining its independence only 12 years ago. Cape Verde is one of the world’s least-populated nations, with fewer residents than any country that qualified for the Basketball World Cup.

They stood tall on Monday at the World Cup — both nations winning games at FIBA’s biggest tournament for the first time.

It was a double-dose of history for African basketball: South Sudan beat China 89-69 at Manila and Cape Verde beat Venezuela 81-75 at Okinawa, Japan. The wins kept both teams in contention for berths in the second round of the World Cup, and they remain very much in the race to become Africa’s automatic qualifier for next summer’s Paris Olympics.

Cape Verde team members and their supporters celebrate after the team defeated Venezuela in their Basketball World Cup group F match in Okinawa, southern Japan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

“I’m still speechless,” said Cape Verde’s Will Tavares, a Rhode Island-born forward who scored 20 points in Monday’s win. “I feel like I’m in a dream right now, but the win was so big for us and our country and our families. We made a statement. Even though we’re the smallest country, we have so much heart.”

They were the two lowest-ranked nations in the 32-team field to begin the tournament, both countries getting to the World Cup for the first time. South Sudan is ranked 62nd worldwide by FIBA, the sport’s global governing body; Cape Verde is ranked 64th.

And they both have a chance to be among the 16 teams still standing when the second round starts Friday.

“I’m just blessed and honored to be a part of this,” South Sudan’s Nuni Omot said. “This journey so far, it’s just been an emotional and amazing feeling for me. And I know everyone else on the team feels the same way as well.”

South Sudan’s basketball program was essentially started a few years ago by former NBA player Luol Deng, who was born in the country and raised in London after his father — a former Sudanese government official and former political prisoner — was granted asylum by Britain. Deng learned to play basketball in London, a scout noticed him when he was about 14 and his life forever changed.

When Deng’s playing days were over, he became president of South Sudan’s fledgling basketball federation. If there is an indoor court anywhere in that country, Deng doesn’t know where it is. He believes the country doesn’t have a single regulation-sized floor.

Yet here its players are, undaunted by doubt, unfazed by massive challenges.

“Luol Deng is the heart and soul of all of this,” said South Sudan coach Royal Ivey, an assistant with the NBA’s Houston Rockets. “He’s the president. Without Luol I wouldn’t be sitting here right now. He had a great vision. I entrusted in his vision and it all came together. I’m in awe that I’m sitting here at the World Cup. I’m forever indebted to Luol for giving me an opportunity to coach this team.”

Africa has long been considered the sleeping giant in global basketball, and big strides have been made in recent years through investment — such as academies that the NBA has built there to identify and develop promising young players, the NBA-backed Basketball Africa League and the Giants of Africa initiative led by Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, a native of Nigeria. That group, among other things, is building courts and hosting clinics for boys and girls around the continent.

“Today is a unique and marvelous moment for our people,” Cape Verde coach Emanuel Trovoada said.

Both South Sudan and Cape Verde have one game left in group-stage play — South Sudan plays Serbia on Wednesday, while Cape Verde will take on Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic and Slovenia. The top-ranked African team at this World Cup will automatically qualify for the Paris Olympics; so far, South Sudan, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast and Angola all have 1-1 records in the race for that berth.

“This is a dream come true,” Omot said. “People don’t understand where we were just two years ago. To be able to do this in front of our fans, people watching back at home, it’s been a very emotional day for everyone getting our first World Cup win.”

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