22nd September, 2010
As the Lagos State Boxing Hall Of Fame get set to host an international amateur boxingÂ championship, boxing lovers, coaches and administrators have expressed joy over theÂ championship, saying it would help expose amateur boxers in the country.
The event tagged: Lagos Boxing Hall of Fameâ€™s red carpet International Amateur BoxingÂ Shows which holds tomorrow at the Eko Hotel, promises to be explosive.
Boxing lovers, who spoke with P.M. Sports, said there is no better time for the event toÂ hold as it would give amateur boxers the chance to learn from their opponents, who cameÂ from the Repton Boys Club, London.
First to speak was Coach Oluwafemi Sholanke of FESTAC Youth Boxing and Academy. TheÂ heavyweight boxer turned coach said his club is also working on a similar programme butÂ praised the organisers of the event for their initiative.
He disclosed that the experience of the European boxers and coaches is what theirÂ Nigerian counterparts should be looking forward to tap.
â€œThe Lagos State Boxing Hall of Fame is worthy of commendation because the NigerianÂ amateur boxers and coaches should see it as an avenue to tap experience from theÂ Europeans. Donâ€™t also forget that the Repton Boxing Club has been in existence since 1884Â and have produced world class boxers. They also have a very good boxing tradition, whichÂ their Nigerian counterparts should adopt,â€ he said.
Boxing Promoter and Chairman of Miracle Beach Boxing Club, Oladele Pius, said experienceÂ is what the boxers should be after. He argued that the organisers should be looking atÂ the possibility of having an exchange programme, where the boxers and coaches fromÂ Nigeria will have the opportunity to go to London to learn the ropes. He noted that theÂ exchange would help amateur boxing develop in the country.
Pius said: â€œThe arrival of the boxers from Repton Boys Club for Nigeriaâ€™s independenceÂ anniversary is a welcome development. If the Lagos State Boxing Hall of Fame and theÂ Lagos State Amateur Boxing Association can sustain the relationship, boxing would grow.Â Boxing enjoyed huge followership in the past but now people are scared of going to seeÂ fights, but with the coming of the international club, boxing lovers would be willâ€™ing toÂ watch amateur boxing.â€
For National Lightweight Champion, Isaac Ekpo, the boxer is sad nothing of such happenedÂ during his amateur days. He never had the opportunity to square up against Europeans. He,Â therefore, admonished the amateur boxers, who have been selected to fight against theÂ boys from Repton to make use of the opportunity. To him, it is a lifetime opportunity andÂ if they fail to utilise it now, saying they may not have such again.
Another amateur boxer, Fatai Adeshina, who was not considered good enough for the eventÂ advised his compatriots to be of good conduct and not see the event as a do or dieÂ affair, but as an opportunity to show how good they are in the ring.
Adeshina said: â€œThe event would go a long way in telling the world that Nigeria has goodÂ boxers.â€