Akpan Cries Over Woes Of Nigerian Boxing

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Former National Welterweight champion, Felix Akpan, has cried out over the dwindling  fortunes of boxing in Nigeria.

The Akwa Ibom State-born pugilist said that a sport that brought honour and fame to the  country should not be left to die.

He noted that there is nothing to show for the development of boxing in the last 50  years, adding that the celebration of the 50th independence anniversary of the country  would have been meaningful to him and other like minds if heroes of Nigerian boxing were  not forgotten by the authorities.

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“I’m sad about the situation in Nigerian boxing, both in the professional and the amateur  cadres. There is virtually nothing to show that we as a nation in the past 50 years of  our independence have developed the game to its fullest potential,” said Akpan, who is  managing a boxing gym in Ejigbo area of Lagos State, Nigeria.

“It’s unfortunate that boxing that brought fame to the country through the likes of the  late Hogan Bassey and Dick Tiger is battling for survival today. Those who made the  nation proud both dead and living have been forgotten by the government. I remember that  it took the intervention of Pastor Chris Okotie who came to the aid of the family of  Hogan Bassey a few years ago when they were in dire need of help. Bash Ali has been  battling to stage a world title fight in Nigeria in the last ten years without success.  Our boxers are in India for the Commonwealth Games 2010 without good preparation. It is  so sad,” he said.

“Boxing is dying in Nigeria or can I say that the game is dead? I feel so sad seeing our  politicians amassing wealth and spending the money recklessly while our sports men and  women find it hard to get funds to prepare for championships. What Golden Jubilee of  independence are we celebrating in Nigeria? There is nothing to show for it. The  authorities should do something urgently about the state of sport that made me in life,”.