Commonwealth Games All The Way


Just like the second quarter, where the South Africa 2010 World Cup stole the show,  the third quarter under review was also dominated by the buildup to the New Delhi  2010 Commonwealth Games making it impossible for both amateur and professional shows  to be held in the country.

The quarter started on a high with the FESTAC Youth Boxing Club and Academy  commending the Executive Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade Ayodele  Adewale for giving their gym a new look, while the Chief Coach Oluwafemi Sholanke  charged the board of the Nigeria Boxing Federation, NBF to intensify preparations  for the Commonwealth Games, which was held in India in October.

Conscious of the fact that boxing is a sport that always fetches Nigeria medals in  international competitions, the NBF quickly got down to work as they staged a  National Open Championship as a trial to select boxers for the Commonwealth Games.

The Open Championship tagged Sunshine Tournament was bankrolled by Ondo State  government, with boxers coming from all states of  federation to fight for places in  the national team.

It was Team Lagos that stole the show at the tournament. This earned them accolades  from chairman of Lagos State Sports Council, Agboola Dabiri, who said that the  boxers were good ambassadors of the state. He noted that the council would leave  nothing to chance to  ensure were taken care of.

After taking a cursory look at the performance of boxers at the tournament,  the  then president of the NBF, Rotimi George-Taylor, boasted that the federation was on  course for the Commonwealth Games.

When Boxing In Focus contacted the sports administrator on the preparedness of the  board for the Commonwealth Games, he said: “Based on the performance of  boxers in  Ondo State, I knew we have a pool where we can pick good boxers and camp them ahead  of the Games. The Games seems far away, but we believe it is not. We have to go back  to the drawing board to see how to prepare the selected boxers for the competition.”

Convinced that the country has good amateur boxers that can hold their own anywhere  against any opponent, but with no standard boxing facilities to keep them in great  shape, the NBF through the National Sports Commission, NSC, embarked on a marathon  renovation of Brai Ayonote Boxing Gym to enable the boxer train before the planned  training tour of Europe.

To the suprise of the boxers, the NSC informed the NBF that the proposed training  tour had been cancelled becuase of lack of funds. The board of the still have the  confident that the boxers would perform well in India desipte the cancellation of  the tour.

The third quarter also witnessed one anniversary of the Lagos State Boxing Hall of  Fame, an amateur boxing championship, which holds every last Saturday of the month.

Action later shifted to the professional category, where Samuel “The Nigerian  Nightmare” Peter lost an opportunity to reclaim his World Boxing Council, WBC,  Heavyweight title as he was pummelled by Wladimir Klitschko.

After the fight, former national boxing team coach, Samson Aransiola, advised the  Akwa Ibom state-born professional pugilist to call it quit.

Former National Cruiserweight champion, Chidi Enuma, also disclosed in an interview  with Boxing In Focus that he is back and better.

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