17th December, 2010
Just like the second quarter, where the South Africa 2010 World Cup stole the show,Â the third quarter under review was also dominated by the buildup to the New DelhiÂ 2010 Commonwealth Games making it impossible for both amateur and professional showsÂ to be held in the country.
The quarter started on a high with the FESTAC Youth Boxing Club and AcademyÂ commending the Executive Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade AyodeleÂ Adewale for giving their gym a new look, while the Chief Coach Oluwafemi SholankeÂ charged the board of the Nigeria Boxing Federation, NBF to intensify preparationsÂ 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 inÂ international competitions, the NBF quickly got down to work as they staged aÂ National Open Championship as a trial to select boxers for the Commonwealth Games.
The Open Championship tagged Sunshine Tournament was bankrolled by Ondo StateÂ government, with boxers coming from all states ofÂ federation to fight for places inÂ the national team.
It was Team Lagos that stole the show at the tournament. This earned them accoladesÂ from chairman of Lagos State Sports Council, Agboola Dabiri, who said that theÂ boxers were good ambassadors of the state. He noted that the council would leaveÂ nothing to chance toÂ ensure were taken care of.
After taking a cursory look at the performance of boxers at the tournament,Â theÂ then president of the NBF, Rotimi George-Taylor, boasted that the federation was onÂ course for the Commonwealth Games.
When Boxing In Focus contacted the sports administrator on the preparedness of theÂ board for the Commonwealth Games, he said: â€œBased on the performance ofÂ boxers inÂ Ondo State, I knew we have a pool where we can pick good boxers and camp them aheadÂ of the Games. The Games seems far away, but we believe it is not. We have to go backÂ 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 anywhereÂ against any opponent, but with no standard boxing facilities to keep them in greatÂ shape, the NBF through the National Sports Commission, NSC, embarked on a marathonÂ renovation of Brai Ayonote Boxing Gym to enable the boxer train before the plannedÂ training tour of Europe.
To the suprise of the boxers, the NSC informed the NBF that the proposed trainingÂ tour had been cancelled becuase of lack of funds. The board of the still have theÂ confident that the boxers would perform well in India desipte the cancellation ofÂ the tour.
The third quarter also witnessed one anniversary of the Lagos State Boxing Hall ofÂ Fame, an amateur boxing championship, which holds every last Saturday of the month.
Action later shifted to the professional category, where Samuel â€œThe NigerianÂ Nightmareâ€ Peter lost an opportunity to reclaim his World Boxing Council, WBC,Â Heavyweight title as he was pummelled by Wladimir Klitschko.
After the fight, former national boxing team coach, Samson Aransiola, advised theÂ Akwa Ibom state-born professional pugilist to call it quit.
Former National Cruiserweight champion, Chidi Enuma, also disclosed in an interviewÂ with Boxing In Focus that he is back and better.