12th August, 2011
The exploits of two Nigerian boxers, Olusegun Ajose and Yakubu Kareem on the international scene, have received an applause from the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, NBB of C.
President of the NBB of C, Godwin Kanu, while speaking with Boxing in Focus in Lagos on Wednseday, said that the body is glad that Nigerian boxers are making waves in their chosen career abroad.
Ajose will be fighting Ali Cheba of Morocco in a WBC elimination bout on 30 September, while Kareem will keep a date with Kobina Johnson of Cameroon in a Commonwealth title fight on 26 August.
The NBB of C helmsman argued that the fact that two Nigerian boxers will be going toe to toe with sterned oppositions in titled fights in few weekstime is an indication that Nigerian boxing has become a force to reckon with in the international scene.
â€œSegun Ajose will be trading punches with Ali Cheba of Morocco in an elimination bout in the light-welterweight category in far away America while Yakubu Kareem will be in Ghana slugging it out with Kobina Johnson,â€ Kanu said.
On the expectations of the NBB of C on the coming bouts, the boxing topshot stated that the board expects the two Nigerian boxers to outpunch their respective opponents in the fights.
â€œI have no doubt that these two boxers will overcome their opponents to make the nation proud.
“With encouragement, Ajose will soon become a world champion in the WBC light-welterweight category. And the same applies toYakubu Kareem when he meets Kobina Johnson in a Commonwealth titled fight in the super-flyweight category,â€ said the boxing helmsman.
However, Kanu has expressed displeasure over Ajose fighting in an elimination bout instead of going for the title proper.
â€œThe board is not really happy that Ajose is going for an elimination bout. He should be going for the title proper. We have already registered our grievances with WBC in this regard,â€ said Kanu.
Commenting on the present state of the Nigerian boxing, Kanu explained that for the fact that three professional boxing shows were held last month signifies that the game has regained its past glory in the country.
â€œWe had three professional boxing shows in the country in July. This has not happened for a long time. For this reason, I can confidently say that professional boxing in Nigeria has woken up from its slumber,â€ said Kanu.
The NBB of C is however imploring sportsâ€™ stakeholders not to concentrate only on football but also focus on other sports.
He said athletes in other sports are also doing the nation proud by winning laurels at international competitions.
â€œI call on the sports minister to use his good office to appeal to corporate organisations to do more for the rest of sports through sponsorship. Nigerian athletes will no doubt be among the best in the world if they are given enough support in the country,â€ said the NBB of C topshot.