Heavyweight category: Lack of investment robbing Nigerian boxers - Coach

Boxing Gloves

FILE PHOTO: Boxing gloves

FILE PHOTO: Boxing gloves

A retired National Boxing Coach, Samson Aransiola, on Monday said that indigenous boxers were being robbed of a place in the heavyweight category because the sport lacked adequate investment in the country.

Aransiola, also an instructor in the Nigeria Institute of Sports (NIS), said that the country was blessed with talented pugilists who can contest at the highest level but with limited funds to realise their dreams.

“The country is blessed with great boxers, I doubt if any country is equally blessed as we are but lack of investment in the sport has been a hindrance till date.

“Boxing is a highly rewarding sport and we can see the returns it has generated all over the world, but still many investors, including the government, continue to look away,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“To participate in the heavyweight category will involve lots of investment with high dividends; but to really put it, boxing ranks one of the highest yielding sports in terms of investment all over the world.

“Looking at the number of great boxers made in Nigeria, then we cannot say that we are short of talents that can dominate the world, but something is lacking which must be addressed.’’

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Aransiola said that if indigenous boxers were given a chance at the world stage, Nigeria would be dominating the heavyweight category.

“If Nigerian boxers are given adequate investment and exposure, we will dominate the heavyweight category because we have had our boxers there before.

“Now, Anthony Joshua is ruling the heavyweight category and he is of Nigerian ancestry. We have also had Samuel Peter in the same position before and others aspiring.

“Nigerian boxers are terrific fighters and dogged, so I am not shy to say that they are a match for their contemporaries across the world.

“It is not out of place if we invest in boxing to bring a heavyweight contest to Nigeria because I am sure it will worth every investment because of its large followership,’’ he said.