THE BIG 5: Serena Williams, Logan Paul, Floyd Mayweather dominate the weekend’s headlines

Every new week, All Baller Zone highlights some stories that made the biggest headlines over the course of the past weekend in the world of sports.

From the Super Eagles 1-0 defeat to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Friday evening, to the surreal exhibition fight between one of the best boxers of all time, Floyd Mayweather and popular YouTuber-turned-boxer, Logan Paul, this, is this Weekend’s Big 5!

5: NOTHING DIFFERENT: Super Eagles Fall To Cameroon In Drag Friendly 

In a fixture most expected a tweak in tactics from head coach Gernot Rohr, and ample playing time for new players, nothing new was presented as Nigeria’s Super Eagles fell 1-0 to five-time African champions, Cameroon in an international friendly game on Friday evening at the Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Austria. 

An outside-the-box shot from Fulham’s Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa barely minutes away from half-time proved to be the only deciding factor in the game as Nigeria lost to Cameroon for the first time since Rohr took over the Senior Men’s National Team in 2015. With Friday’s fixture now behind them, both West African heavyweights would be taking to the field again on Tuesday in a repeat fixture – another preparation for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September.

4: 15 AND UNBEATEN: Akwa United Break Enyimba’s Record Of Longest Run Without A Defeat

Despite dropping to second on the table due to their 2-2 draw away to Wikki Tourists at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium on Sunday, Akwa United achieved a new milestone in the Nigeria   Professional Football League – the team with the longest run without a defeat.

Thanks to goals from Saidu Salisu and Charles Atshiumene, the Promise Keepers ensured they stole a point and created a new NPFL record of 15 consecutive matches unbeaten, eclipsing the record of 14 matches previously held by Enyimba.

3: DE BRUYNE? HOW?: City’s KDB Wins PFA Player Of The Year For The Second Year Running

In what should be the most controversial news of the weekend, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne was voted as the best player in the Premier League for the 2020/21 season by his peers – the Professional Footballers Association, picking the award over fellow teammate Ruben Dias, and Tottenham Hotspurs forward, Harry Kane.

Despite emulating the likes of Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo who both won the awards back-to-back in 2002/03-2003/04, and 2006/07-2007/08 seasons respectively, there is no denying that his latest victory in awards is the more debatable one with Dias – who picked up the Premier League  Player of the Year award, and Kane – who finished as the Premier League’s leading scorer with 23 goals & leading player for assists with 14, having long been considered more likely recipients than the Belgian. 

2: TRY AGAIN, SERENA: Elena Rybakina Hands Williams Unpleasant Straight-Sets Defeat At French Open 

Three-time champion Serena Williams was on Sunday, surprisingly beaten by Elena Rybakina in two sets leading to her exit from the competition at the last 16 stages, ensuring she continues her quest for an elusive 24th grand slam title.

The 39-year-old American who has found herself unable to make it past the fourth round on clay at the Roland Garros since 2016, has been chasing Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slams but once again, came short due to a 6-3, 7-5 defeat to Rybakina – a 21-year-old Russian-born Kazakh who was just two months old when Williams won her first grand in 1999. Williams would now turn her attention to the third grand slam of the season, Wimbledon, as her chase for number 24, continues.

1: YOUTUBE MAN VS MONEY MAN: Logan Paul Avoids Knockout From Mayweather In Extraordinary Fight

Popular YouTuber, Logan Paul put up a surprise fight against boxing favourite Floyd Mayweather in their exhibition bout on Sunday night to avoid a knockout, survive eight rounds, and go the full distance in a competitive performance in Miami. 

Mayweather, now 44, retired in 2017 with a perfect 50-0 record and last fought in 2018 but took the ring against the Youtuber-turned-boxer who had constantly challenged him on Social Media, landing punches that were not enough to earn a knockout. As per exhibition rules, no winners were announced. 

Both men ended the extraordinary bout which will not count to Mayweather’s impressive 50-0 record, with a mutual embrace. 

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