President of the West African Boxing Union (WABU), Remi Aboderin, has called on corporate organisations in the country to emulate pay television service provider, GOtv’s support for Nigerian boxing. Aboderin, who is also the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C) made the call in Lagos at the offices of Flykite Promotions, organisers of GOtv Boxing Night, which has been sponsored by GOtv since 2014.
He noted that the intervention of GOtv in Nigerian boxing has revived the sport, adding that there is a need for many more organisations to support boxing to ensure a speedier return to health.
“Nobody connected to Nigerian boxing can fail to see the strides being made by the sport since GOtv intervened in 2014. Their intervention, which has seen them invest huge sums, time, organization, logistics, especially the live broadcast of the event by SuperSport, has rescued our beloved sport from irrelevance. I can tell you that we at the NBB of C are happy, boxers are happy, sub-regional and continental boxing bodies such as the African Boxing Union are also happy for GOtv’s support. The fans, who are crucial to the sport, are similarly delighted,” he said.
To sustain the momentum, the WABU President urged other corporate organisations to take a leaf out of GOtv’s book, as doing so will ensure Nigerian boxing’s return to full health will be quicker.
“I want to use this opportunity to plead with corporate organisations to join in the efforts to take Nigerian boxing back into the big time. With more corporate support, it will happen faster. The fact is under five years of sponsoring GOtv Boxing Night and GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, Nigerian boxing has regained prominence on the African and Commonwealth scenes. Our boxers are sought after, as many champions have been made. We need to go a few notches higher and that will happen if others show similar commitment,” he stated.
GOtv Boxing Night is approaching its 18th edition, which is scheduled to hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium (formerly Liberty), Ibadan, on Sunday. The eight-fight show will feature two international duels, the ABU lightweight title clash between Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph of Nigeria and Ghana’s Success “Brave Warrior” Tetteh and an international light middleweight clash between Akeem “Dodo” Sadiku of Nigeria and Ekpresso Djamihou of the Republic of Benin. Also on the card is the national super featherweight title bout between Ridwan ‘Scorpion” Oyekola and the champion, Taofeek “Taozon” Bisuga. Other boxers in action include Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, WABU welterweight champion; Ganiyu “Energy” Kolawole, Tope “Esepo” Agbaje, Michael “Holy Mike” Jacobs, Opeyemi “Sense” Adeyemi and Isaac “I Star” Chukwudi.