Tag Archives: Francis

Pope Francis visits with patients in Pediatric Oncology ward – Vatican News

The Holy See Press Office noted that on Tuesday afternoon Pope Francis visited with young patients at the pediatric oncology ward of the hospital. The department is located on the same floor where the Pope is recovering from his surgery just over a week ago. 

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Tyson Fury makes Anthony Joshua promise as he challenges UFC champion Francis Ngannou

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Tyson Fury took to social media to take aim at a trio of heavyweights from three different fields in a Thursday night rant on his Instagram story.

Unsurprisingly, the main target of his social media tirade was fellow heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua, as “The Gypsy King” mocked “AJ” before daring him to prove his comments wrong.

“While I’m on a rant. I may as well call out one more person,” he began.

“A big, useless dosser. Not a real fighting man. A hype job. Bodybuild(er), crossfit, big, ugly s***house. That’s Anthony Joshua.

“AJ, if you’re out there, let’s make this fight happen, you big dosser. You big s***house bum dosser.

“I’m gonna smash your face in, too, and there’s not one thing you can do about it.

“Prove me wrong, sucker. Prove me wrong. I’m number one, uno.”

Fury and Joshua signed a two-fight deal to face each other, but a date and location has not yet been finalised for their eagerly-anticipated first meeting.

Fury had previously stated that there had been interest from Qatar, Uzbekistan, Russia, the United States and England as potential hosting countries for their heavyweight title unification battle.

Earlier this month, promoter Eddie Hearn stated that the pair had agreed on a preferred site.

“Both sides have approved the site offer they want to go with,” he told Behind The Gloves.

“We are now finalising the site offer and we’re in a good place.”

Prior to his message to Joshua, Fury had already taken aim at WWE superstar Drew McIntyre and UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who he said he’d be happy to face in the ring.

“This is a message to Francis Ngannou and the UFC guys,” he said.

“Look. You want some of this Gypsy King money? You know where to come and find it. You want some of this Gypsy King power? I’ll give it (to) you.

“Any time, any place, anywhere. Seven days a week and twice on Sunday, you big ugly dosser.”

Ngannou may well have seen or heard about Fury’s message, as he later tweeted a short message tagging him, saying he’d face Fury after he defeats former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in his next title defence.

“I’ll take care of @JonnyBones first then come after @Tyson_Fury.”

Predator: The remarkable and unlikely rise of UFC heavyweight knockout artist Francis Ngannou

Regardless of whether or not he raises aloft the UFC heavyweight title at this weekend’s UFC 260, Francis Ngannou’s rise to the summit of mixed martial arts has been a triumph against the odds.

Perhaps no fighter in the UFC has had a more unlikely journey towards title contention than 34-year-old Ngannou. Born into poverty in the Cameroonian town of Batie, he was forced to confront many of the demons which had sent so many of his peers off the rails.

The young Ngannou had almost no formal education to speak of. Even as a teenager, his developing frame had made him the target of recruiters for several rival gangs in his area, but Ngannou resisted the lure of (some) money and the associated trappings of gang life which has cost the lives of so many young men on the African continent. 

He had other motivations entirely. Perhaps influenced by his father who had a fearsome reputation as a street-fighter, the young Ngannou soon realized that he didn’t want to follow the same path; one where violence is the quickest path towards respect. 
Also on rt.com ‘Africa vs everybody’: Francis Ngannou winds up Stipe Miocic & Tony Ferguson as he targets history in UFC heavyweight title clash
I don’t find it fun to talk about [my childhood],” Ngannou told ESPN this week. 

“It’s not happy. It’s sad. I always admire people when I sit around and see people, friends or somebody else, talking about their childhood; their friends when they were kids, all the things they were doing, their cartoons, kind of like culture.

I feel like those are the missing parts of my life, no matter what I do, I can’t really fill it up. That’s why in some way, I’m still trying to deal with that childhood. Winning a UFC belt, for me, would be my own way to answer that, would be my own way to show those people that, well, after all, I wasn’t bad.”

Between his childhood and this weekend’s opportunity to win the UFC heavyweight title, Francis Ngannou has lived the lives of ten men. 

After deciding to leave his homeland to pursue his dream of becoming professional boxer, Ngannou migrated north towards Morocco – but as he explains, this was just the first step in journey which would helping him realize his athletic dreams.

It came at a cost: eating from bins, two months in a Spanish jail and countless nights spent sleeping rough on the streets of Paris.

My journey from Cameroon to Morocco was about one year,” Ngannou explained. “One year in illegal situations, crossing borders, living in the bush, finding food in the trash, living this terrible life.”

It didn’t get better quickly, either. Ngannou’s ultimate destination was Europe and he chose Spain as the gateway to his new life – only to immediately come to the attention of immigration personnel, and subsequently jail.

It was more stressful than scary,” Ngannou said of his stint inside. “When we got to Spain, for the first while, we kind of relaxed, even though we were in jail. We knew we were going to go to jail when we got there. We would be free after, but we were going to go to jail [first]. 

There was a lot of pressure in our minds. It was like a mental prison, not a physical prison. It was very hard.”

All things, as they say, must pass – and so they did for Ngannou. He eventually landed in his chosen destination of Paris, the capital city of a country which shares a mother tongue with his native Cameroon.

And while the hardships were still plentiful, it was here that Ngannou says he soon began finding his feet.

I was homeless then, but at that moment, it wasn’t difficult for me anymore,” he said. “You might think being homeless in Paris in the fall when it’s coldwas not great, but the enthusiasm that I had at that time.

Beyond everything, I was happy to be in the land of opportunity. I was happy to have my own life and be able to chase my own dreams. So that’s definitely one of the happiest moments of my life.

Even though I was sleeping in parking lots and I didn’t have food or money, I was just free. Compared to where I was in Morocco, a parking lot was like a five-star hotel.

In Paris, around a decade after he first made a promise to himself to pursue combat sports, Francis Ngannou stepped into a fight gym for the first time in his life – and despite having quite literally never even heard of the sport, he soon found himself encamped in Paris’ renowned MMA Factory, where his dreams would quickly extend out in front of him.

It took me almost 10 years to step in a gym for the very first time, but I always believed it would happen,” he said. 

From here, most MMA fans know the rest. After winning five of his first six fights between late 2013 and the summer of 2015, Ngannou was headhunted by the UFC and opened his account in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization by wracking off six finishes in a row and very much fulfilling the nickname handed to him: Predator. 

The final of those wins, a downright shocking uppercut KO of Alistair Overeem, earned him an opportunity to dethrone UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic in January 2018 – a fight in which Ngannou’s relative inexperience was soundly taken advantage of by the champion.

Now though, with four more KO wins under his belt, Ngannou is returning for seconds at this weekend’s UFC 260. If he is able to seize the world title from around the waist of the most dominant heavyweight titleholder in UFC history at the second time of asking, it would represent perhaps the unlikeliest path to UFC gold yet.

But judging by his background, it won’t be the toughest fight he has ever been in. 
Also on rt.com ‘Africa vs everybody’: Francis Ngannou winds up Stipe Miocic & Tony Ferguson as he targets history in UFC heavyweight title clash

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‘Africa vs everybody’: Francis Ngannou winds up Stipe Miocic & Tony Ferguson as he targets history in UFC heavyweight title clash

UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou has posed with champion Kamaru Usman and declared “Africa vs everybody” ahead of his title showdown with Stipe Miocic at UFC 260, causing ex-champ Tony Ferguson to respond with his own message.

Thunder-punching Ngannou wants to become the first Cameroonian, African and Frenchman to win a UFC crown when he faces heavyweight king Miocic in Las Vegas on Saturday, and he shared a photo of himself in the gym with welterweight title holder Kamaru Usman beforehand.

The 34-year-old has spoken of his humble beginnings in Cameroon as a youngster, where he worked as a sand miner before moving to France to pursue his celebrated MMA career.

In a cheeky response to the man who has said he hopes to inspire Africans to dream big, ex-UFC lightweight champion appeared to support US fighter Miocic by replying: “Merica’.”

Ferguson added his customary tagline of CSO – “champ s**t only” – in a dig at Ngannou’s prospects of dethroning giant veteran Miocic.

Ngannou posed with Ferguson in the city where he will fight at the weekend in a post shortly after ‘El Cucuy’s’ brutal defeat to Justin Gaethje in May, which denied him the chance of a title shot against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“Tony Ferguson – the type of guy who is a beast,” he wrote at the time, grinning alongside Ferguson in a parking lot. “Think I can do some of his training methods.”

The number one-ranked heavyweight has spoken emotionally about his career path and rags-to-riches story in the build-up to meeting Miocic.

“This journey now is not only mine,” he explained to Bloody Elbow about his loyalties that go beyond patriotism. “It’s for all Cameroonians and for the whole of Africa and all of France, too.

“See where I’m from and see where I am today. This inspires a lot of people and gets a lot of people excited, so that they want to do something by themselves.

“In Africa, in many parts of the continent, people do not allow themselves to dream, because what they dream of [seems] unreal. But I’m just trying to show that everything is possible.

“That dream, you can allow yourself. You have a right. It doesn’t matter what was the beginning or how you began.

“What’s more important is where you arrive. As long as you prepare for your arrival and you have the right mindset, you can do it.”

Ngannou has predicted that the first UFC event in Africa will take place in Nigeria, where Usman and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya were born.

Usman has had a busy week of training and socializing with fellow fighters, meeting Abu Azaitar, who is training with Javier Mendez and a team that includes one of the trainer’s fighters, Nurmagomedov.

‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ took a photo with lightweight champion Nurmagomedov and his cousin, Umar, while Azaitar, who is facing Marc-André Barriault, thanked the team and Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, who he said had arranged a belated birthday gathering for him at his home in Las Vegas.

“[He] made me feel like I had a family in Vegas,” said Azaitar. “On the same day, my uncle, who I loved very much, passed away. It teaches me to be grateful and appreciate every single moment with my loved ones.”
Also on rt.com ‘So quick to jump on a hype train’: Jon Jones trolls Israel Adesanya as star falls short against Blachowicz at UFC 259

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