Perhaps, one major world boxing title fight some Nigerians still remember is the 1962 fight at the Liberty Stadium (now Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan), where Dick Tiger defeated America’s Gene Fullmer.
It shot Nigeria into the world boxing fame. And now, the organisers of the GOtv Boxing Night have announced that it would soon host a world title fight in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer of Flykite Productions, Jenkins Alumona, said while unveiling plans for the GOtv Boxing Night 16: “We have clear instructions to host a world title fight during the GOtv Boxing Night 20.
We have been trying to make sure that our boxers get the minimum number of 15 fights, so that we won’t have a situation of lining up two foreigners for a world title here.
“We know what happened to boxing before GOtv came in 2014. That was when boxers hardly had fights until they became too old to box. But we are working on the instruction given to us to stage a world title bout in Nigeria.”
The Marketing Manager, GOtv, Chidozie Bede-Nwokoye, said they are using the NextGen search project to discover talents and project them on the national stage.
“GOtv will continue to support and grow boxing in Nigeria. We’ll always make sure our boxers are happy and well looked after,” he said.
The GOtv Boxing Night 16 will feature 18 boxers and nine bouts, with the best boxer on the night going home with a cash prize of N1.5 million and the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy.
Meanwhile, President of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Dr. Raufu Ladipo has attributed the current positive rating of Nigerian boxers by the Commonwealth Boxing Council (CBC) to GOtv Boxing Night.
The NBB of C President, who attended the last CBC meeting in London a fortnight ago, said two stars of GOtv Boxing Night, Abolaji “Afonja Warrior” and Rasheed, Olaide “Fijaborn” Fijabi, the African Boxing Union (ABU) light welterweight champion, are two of the three Nigerian boxers currently rated by the CBC to fight for its titles.
He added that Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, ABU lightweight champion, is scheduled to participate in a Commonwealth title eliminator, which will make him eligible to fight for a Commonwealth title.
The three boxers, he said, owe their current standings to GOtv Boxing Night, the platform on which they have been fighting regularly.
Ladipo said without GOtv Boxing Night providing the opportunities for the boxers, their fight record would have been too lean to make them eligible for rating by the CBC. He commended the sponsors for their support for Nigerian boxing.
Rasheed, the West African Boxing Union (WABU) middleweight champion is scheduled to have another crack at the Commonwealth title next month. He lost in his first attempt last year in London.
Joseph will be in action at GOtv Boxing Night 16 in an international challenge bout against Ghana’s Anama Dotse.
The event is scheduled to hold on 14 October at the Indoor Sports Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.