8th December, 2010
“If wishes were horses beggars would rideâ€ this saying aptly described what happenedÂ in the first quarter of the outgoing year 2010 under review.
With promises coming at the beginning of the year from three stakeholders;Â Secretary General of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control, NBB, of C, Remi Aboderin;Â a boxing promoter, Cyril Olanrenwaju and a former President ofÂ Nigeria BoxingÂ Federation, NBF, Rotimi George-Taylor, both amateur, professional boxers and boxingÂ lovers thought there would be an unprecedented boxing show to keep them busy.Â ButÂ they were wrong, as there was little or nothing to show for the promises made.
Apart from the two professional boxing shows; The Awekeen Punches BoxingÂ Extravaganza and the Pugilists At Work, there were really no boxing shows to keepÂ the boxers busy.
Even, The Awekeen Punches Boxing Extravaganza was marred by the behaviour of fansÂ who made trouble at the venue; Indoor Sports Hall, National Stadium, Surulere,Â Lagos, Nigeria. During the period,Â three boxers were penalised byÂ the NBB Of C .
Two of the boxers, former Commonwealth Games silver medalist, Oluwafemi Ajayi and aÂ former National champion, Felix Friday were sanctioned for the unrest caused byÂ their fans afterÂ losing their fights, while Idowu Akinsola was sanctioned forÂ bringing the sport into disrepute.
On Akinsolaâ€™s case, the NBB Of C alleged that being a professional boxer, he shouldÂ know the rules and regulation of the sport and could have helped to put theÂ situation under control.
George-Taylor at the beginning of the year gave his words that he was going to doÂ all within his power to keep the amateur boxers in Nigeria busy; but it was only oneÂ competition, staged by the Okumagba Community in Epe, Lagos, Nigeria that wasÂ organised.
Apparently aware that the promises made were empty ones, former Olympian, JeremiahÂ Okorodudu predicted then that boxing in the quarter under review would go from badÂ to worse.
The former boxer, turned boxing coach, who also represented Nigeria in theÂ Middleweight boxing event at the 1984 Olympic Games, said there were clear pointersÂ that boxing in Nigeria would nosedive, allegingÂ that the administrators were onlyÂ there to enrich themselves to the detriment of the square-roped sport.
In faraway Nevada, United States of America, USA, where former World Boxing Council,Â WBC champion, Samuel â€œThe Nigerian Nightmareâ€ Peter filed a law suit in Clark CountyÂ District Court in USA.
The Akwa Ibom State-born professional pugilist claimed that his former promoters:Â Don King and Dino Duva were owing him more than $400,000Â promised him for hisÂ October 2008 bout against Vitali Klitschko.
However, the only thing worthy of note during the period under review was theÂ commendation given to the chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade AyodeleÂ Adewale, for giving the FESTAC Boxing Club and Academyâ€™s gym a face-lift.
He was commended by Chief Coach of the Academy, Oluwafemi Sholanke.
The coach praised the chairman for making good his promise of giving the gym a newÂ look.
In conclusion, boxing did not give Nigerian boxers anything special to celebrateÂ during the quarter.