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Ex- Senegal King of Arena Balla Gaye Signs “Mega” Comeback Deal

Erstwhile Senegalese King of Wrestling Balla Gaye II has been linked to a speculated $210,000 deal to return him to the sport.

His comeback date is scheduled for January 1st 2018 against Gris Bordeaux but the build-up to the signing with fight promoter Luc Nicolai, was marred by speculations.

Gaye, dubbed the Lion of Guediawaye, was on a self-imposed exile from the arena and has not competed for over a year.

The 29-year-old decided to take a sabbatical leave from the sport on the back of defeat to underdog Eumeu Sene in 2015. A lot has been bandied over the reason for his decision to take just over a year’s break.

It is believed that the effects of performance-enhancing drugs he’s alleged to have used in his last fight, forced Gaye from signing any more combats until the substance cleared from his body.

How true the rumor is, remains to be seen but the ex- King of Arena insists he opted to take a breather because he felt the need for it.

In the months Gaye spent watching from the sidelines, left pundits questioning how fruitful last season would have been however his return has immediately created talking points and divisions among wrestling enthusiasts.

Camps of both wrestlers have been at each other’s throat amid with each side throwing accusations of foot dragging.

Bordeaux and his club hierarchy have been on the receiving end of criticisms. Many promoters -with the exception of Nicolai – have attempted without success to stage the in-demand combat.

Weighing in, unconfirmed reports suggest Bordeaux and his representatives deliberately demanded astronomical sums fight promoters would baulk at paying as a way to turn down a proposed fight against Gaye.

But all is now set and done with the venue –Stade Demba Diop – and date as well confirmed.

Official signing of the contract was done behind closed-doors however the first face-to-face, televised live, has been nothing short of heated exchange of uncomplimentary remarks.

Gaye, who personally chose Bordeaux as his adversary, ostentatiously walked towards his seated opponent stretching his bulging toned arms in a bid to spark provocation.

Bordeaux –the eldest of two wrestlers –did not react and merely laughed off Gaye’s display of exuberance.

Matters got heated when Gaye threw a jibe at wrestler-turned Fass’s technical director Moustapha Geuye, a man he defeated at the start of his career.

The comment did not sit well with Bordeaux who mumbled few words which the Senegalese press considered to be unpleasant remarks aimed at Gaye’s father, also a former King of Arena.

Adding to the controversy, a video has emerged appearing to show Gaye making a provocative move towards Bordeaux who was headed for his car in the aftermath of the face-to-face.

The first confrontation, many believe, is one in a long list of furors expected to dog this combat, consequently making January 1st 2018 all worth the while to watch.

The two wrestlers enter the fight on the back of defeats with Gaye losing to Eumeu Sene in 2015 while Bordeaux was beaten in a 2-minute revenge match by Modou Lo.




Featured photo: Balla Gaye before the Laamb Championship match. (Joe Penney for The New York Times)

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