Former British light heavyweight champion, Nigerian-born Peter Oboh, has lamented the state of boxing in the country, saying that absence of facilities and the length of camping enjoyed by his generation are the reasons why the country is no longer producing good boxers.
He spoke at the occasion of the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Mabel Oboh Centre for Save Our Star (MOCSOS), where an Ajegunle-based reggae artiste, Kennedy Uti aka Banton, was presented to the press after his miraculous healing from a skin cancer spear-headed by the Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, Mabeh Oboh.
Peter, who at one time held the Commonwealth and World Boxing Association (WBA) light heavyweight titles, said he had the privilege of working with the best coaches in the country, before he traveled out to continue his boxing career.
“I had the opportunity of working with coach Brian Ayonote in the early 90s, where we were camped for upmost of nine months, and we enjoyed everything we needed as boxers then. That was the period the nation won medals at the Olympics.
“And the reasons were obvious because Ayonote invested his time in boxing and I was one of his products. He played a part in my success. I had the opportunity of going abroad to hone my boxing career, where I later became a British citizen and won both the local and international titles, which include the British Boxing Board of Control (BBB of C) British light heavyweight, Inter-Continental light heavyweight, Commonwealth light heavyweight and eventually the World Boxing Association (WBA),” he said.
While speaking on his involvement in the MOCSOS NGO that assisted Banton back to life after surviving a cancer operation, Peter said he decided to be part after he realised what entertainers, such as the artistes, sportsmen and women, go through each time they are in trouble due to financial reasons.
“I discovered that when it comes to entertainment and sports, some stars and champions in our fields later have issues with their health and other issues, where they need financial support. That explained why I got involved in it with my sister being the CEO of the NGO because as a sportsman, I understands the way it goes.
In her submission, Mabel thanked those that God used in saving the life of Banton, through their financial contributions and otherwise.“Apparently it was the idea of saving the stars and our sports that made people like Peter Oboh to show interest in this project. And that is where he has really become a pillar and a great financial supporter of the NGO.
“Peter told me that he believes in the concept and wants the sportsmen to be included in the NGO’s list of concern of those seeking help when in trouble after retirement. So, we are encouraging the artistes, sportsmen, even journalists, and anyone in the entertainment industry, to come and be part us. Also, part of our efforts is to engage them in learning a skill that will be useful to them now and later in the future,” she stated.