9th December, 2011
The second quarter of the outgoing year was a busy period for professional boxers home and abroad while amateur boxing was almost on vacation in the country due to dearth of tourneys in the period.
In the quarter under review, amateur boxers representing various states of the federation traded punches at the 17th National Sports Festival tagged the Garden City Games in Port Hacourt, Rivers State.
The boxing event in Port Harcourt was not without its fireworks with Lagos boxing team coming out in their brillant best by making a clean sweep of the medals in the male and female events.
Isiaka Olatunji, a ring builder, attributed the superb performance displayed by Lagos State boxers at the games to the Monthly Saturday Boxing Show packaged by the Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame, LBHF in conjuction with the Lagos Amateur Boxing Association, LABA.
â€œMany of the boxers that represented Lagos State at the festival are regular faces at the Monthly Saturday Boxing Show. The fact that Lagos boxers made a clean sweep of the medals is a proof that the show is good for boxing in the state,â€ said Olatunji.
Boxing In Focus carried out a survey in which it was observed that the National Sports Commission, NSC and the Federal Government have not done much to compensate the countryâ€™s living legends and the dependants of fallen boxing heroes.
Jerry Okorodudu, a Los Angeles 1984 0lympic silver medalist and coach, said it is worrisome that the government has not done enough to honour living legends and the late pugilists who did the country proud.
â€œMost of us that made the nation proud have been relegated to the background. The families of our past heroes have also been forgotten. Something must be done because we are really tired of this treatment. We deserve more than what we are getting now,â€ said the Olympian.
Paul Onwuachi, a retired boxer, is sad that people like him, who represented the country at many international boxing competitions are left to their fate.
â€œBoxers deserve attention from the concerned authorities.We are handicap and need something tangible to keep our bodies and souls alive. I think there should be endowment fund for boxers. Failure to do so may force many boxers out of the sport,â€ noted Onwuachi.
On the international scene, the former WBC champion, â€œNigerian Nightmareâ€ Samuel Peter (34-5, 27 KOs) on 2 April suffered another defeat as the â€œNordic Nightmareâ€ from Finland Robert Helenius (15-0, 10KOs) put him to sleep in the nineth round with a pair of devastating left hooks to the head at the Gerry Weber Stadium, Halle, Germany.
Peter pressed the action during the first half of the fight, trying to engage the Finnish fighter into a brawl, while Helenius, in round seven, gave fans a reminder of his true power landing several counter straight right hands to stop the Nigerian in his tracks.