In the second quarter of this outgoing year, Nigerian professional boxers around the world intensified their efforts to become world champions in their various weight categories.
In his quest to bag a world title, Nigerian WBO Interim Cruiserweight champion, Ola Afolabi, took on Cruiserweight champion, Marco Huck on 5 May in Erfurt, Germany.
The Nigerian pugilist, who lost to Huck on points in December 2009, had vowed to to take revenge when the two boxers get into the squared rope in Germany.
This time Huck was being outboxed for the better part of the first four rounds, however, the titleholder retained his WBO title with 12 round majority draw against the Nigerian boxer.
Another Nigerian boxer who took a shot on a world title in the second quarter of the outgoing year was the undefeated IBO Cruiserweight contender, Lateef Kayode as he traded punches with the IBO Cruiserweight champion, Antonio Tarver on 3 June at Home Depot Centre, California, USA.
Kayode started the fight very well, outlanding and pushing the 43-year-old veteran around, yet the Tarver managed to secure a draw after 12 rounds of action in the title bout.
On the foreign scene, Timothy Bradley agreed to move up a weight class to challenge Manny Pacquiao for his title after the latter’s fight negotiations with Floyd Mayweather fell through.
Held on 9 June, 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada, Bradley won a shocking and highly controversial split decision to take the WBO welterweight title.
However, WBO President Franscisco Valcarcel said in a statement on 13 June that the body’s championship committee would review video of the fight with five recognised international judges and make a recommendation.
Having studied the video footage of the fight, the five-man review panel ruled that Pacquiao should have been declared the winner of the controversial bout.