Not ready to take chances, Nigeria’s rising star, Olaide Fijabi, says he might storm Dakar, Senegal, with some of his local delicacies such as amala and ewedu for the defence of his Africa Boxing Union (ABU) Super Lightweight title.
Fijabi had knocked out a Tanzanian boxer, Shadrack Ignas Kobero, to claim the light welterweight title in December last year. He will race 31-year-old Senegalese, Abderrazak Houya, on October 20 at the Canal Olympia arena in Dakar, for the defence of the title.
Fijabi, who has a record of 11 straight wins without defeat, which includes five knockouts, told The Guardian yesterday that he was doing everything possible to retain his title.
“I have not been to Senegal before, but this is not my first fight outside Nigeria. Their food in Senegal might be different from what we have here. If it means taking some of our local food along, I may have to do so because I don’t what anything that will stop me from retaining the title,” Fijabi stated.
The Senegalese challenger, Houya, has 11 fights, 10 wins and one defeat, but Fijabi says there is nothing to worry about. “Boxing is my profession. I have been in camp for close to three months now preparing for this trip to Senegal. I have watched some of his (Houya) professional fights, and I am sure of beating him in front of his home fans. All I need from Nigerians at this moment is their support and prayer. If I don’t travel to Senegal for this fight, I will be stripped of the ABU title because I ought to have defended it after six months. I won’t let Nigerians down in Senegal,” Fijabi, a regular face in the GOtv Boxing Night stated.
In his last fight, Fijabi secured a unanimous decision against Kazeem Ariyo during the 15th GOtv Boxing Night in Ibadan in July. The Senegalese, on his part, also won his last fight in March this year by defeating France’s Aimen Souihli with a unanimous point decision.His coach, Joe Mensah told The Guardian that the trip to Senegal on October 20 would be rewarding for Nigeria, adding that Fijabi had what it takes to retain his ABU title.