15th July, 2011
The boxing gymnasium at the National Stadium, Lagos, is yet to become busy and in flurry of activities despite that the National Sports Festival in Port Harcourt has ended.
This is in contrast to the exhilarating atmosphere that often pervades the gymnasium and its environment whenever boxers are around.
When P.M. Sports visited the gymnasium on Tuesday, boxers were conspicuously absent. However, a number of athletes belonging to other sports were training around the place.
One of the athletes said the reason the boxers had not resumed for training was because they just arrived Lagos from the National Sports Festival.
â€œIt is because of the National Sports Festival. That is why they are not here now. You know they just came back from Port Harcourt,â€ said the weightlifter.
Asked when the boxers would resume for training, the athlete said the gymnasium should be a beehive of activity by Monday, 17 July.
â€œI think they should resume for training by Monday, next week. If you come here next week, you will see them here.â€
When P.M. Sports visited the secretariat of the Nigeria Boxing Federation, NBF, at Brai Ayonote Boxing Complex that Tuesday, it was a different story entirely.
Speaking with the Secretary General of the federation, Dr. Patrick Uwagbale, it was gathered that the boxers are currrently in Benin City, Edo State preparing for the All Africa Games coming up later in September in Maputo, Mozambique.
â€œThey are in Benin City at the moment. They are preparing for the All Africa Games. That is why they are not here in Lagos. I hope that explains their absence,â€ the scribe said.
The boxing scribe, however, confirmed that 25 boxers are in camp in Benin, while 10 will make it to the All Africa Games in Maputo at the end of the camping.