8th September, 2010
On 11 September, IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (54-3, 48 KOâ€™s) and SamuelÂ Peter (34-3, 27 KOâ€™s) will clash in a long awaited rematch in Germany. ADEBOBOLA ALAWODEÂ sought the views of professional boxers andÂ administrators on their expectations ahead ofÂ the bout.
FEMI SHOLANKE, Peterâ€™s former sparring partner.
On paper, Peter has all it takes to defeat Klitschko because the â€œNigerian Nightmareâ€ wouldÂ be going out for an outright win. I believe the Akwa Ibom State-born pugilist knows the taskÂ ahead of him. He would not want to lose to Wladimir again. If you could recall during theirÂ first fight, Peter sent him to the canvas on three occasions but he lost the bout via splitÂ decisions. The time has come for Peter to make amends by reclaiming the title. Peter was myÂ sparring partner before he turned professional, I know him then to be a rugged fighter.
REMI ABODERIN, Secretary Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, (NBBof C)
Peter has the backing of the NBBof C. We are wishing him the best of luck, because in theÂ first place he is fighting for himself and not the country. As a professional boxer; it isÂ only when his name is mentioned that they would refer to him as a Nigerian. If he eventuallyÂ wins, the money goes into his pocket. The fight is a big opportunity for Peter to rediscoverÂ himself and to redeem his battered image.
ISAAC EKPO, National Lightweight Champion
As a soldier I always tell my friends that boxing is like a battlefield where you should beÂ prepared for the worst. Boxing is an individual sport, where you need your strength toÂ overcome your opponent, there is no room for relaxation. Unlike football where you have yourÂ teammates to cover up for you whenever you are tired, this is not applicable in boxing. InÂ boxing you donâ€™t have a hiding place, but I know Peter would win the bout.
ONYEKA ELUM, Boxing Manager
As a Nigerian and boxing manager, my wish is to see Peter wins the fight. The reason is thatÂ if Peter wins, it would open more windows for other Nigerian boxers to make it big inÂ boxing. It is the wish of every Nigerian that â€œThe Nigerian Nightmareâ€ wins the fight. ForÂ example, when he won the interim WBC title, he was able to drag boxing promoter Don King toÂ the country. So you can imagine those that would be willing to visit Nigeria if he wins onÂ Saturday. His victory will open new frontiers for Nigerians.
FEMI AJAYI, Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist
Victory is negotiable for Peter. He is an all round boxer, he was able to knockdown WladimirÂ on three occasions back in 2005. Peter lost the first bout as a result of poor instructionsÂ from his corner. If his corner had adopted a different approach in the first fight he wouldÂ have won the fight. Since Wladimir is taller than Peter, I expect his coaches to approachÂ the fight in a different fashion. If Peter avoids running away from Wladimir, I see himÂ coming back to the country with the belt.
Mojeed Okedara, National Super Middleweight champion
The die is cast and the stage is set for Peter to rewrite history. He was an interimÂ champion so if he wins Saturdayâ€™s fight he would become the first black to reclaim hisÂ title. Iâ€™m looking forward to the fight with high expectations just like every otherÂ Nigerian and boxing enthusiast.
OLADELE PIUS, Boxing enthusiast
I have been praying and fasting for Peter. Keeping vigil for him on Saturday will not be aÂ task too big for me to do. In his previous fights I kept vigil for him, filled up myÂ generator with enough gasÂ because I donâ€™t want PHCN to deny me the opportunity of watchingÂ the bout life. This weekendâ€™s wonâ€™t be an exceptionÂ I see Peter defeating Wladimir providedÂ he gets the right instructions from his corner.
KOLA ABIMBOLA, Professional boxer
Saturdayâ€™s fight is a must win for Peter. I believe he must have learnt his lessons from theÂ Klitschkos. He also must have learnt that there is no short cut to success. He should beÂ prepared to lay down his life.