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13 young boxers emerge as NextGen search ends in Ilorin

By Gowon Akpodonor
31 August 2019   |   4:13 am
The search for young boxers in Ilorin, Kwara State capital has produced a total of 13 pugilists.

The referee of a Super Bantamweight fight (left) declares U.S-based Nigeria-born boxer Helen Joseph (a.k.a. The Iron Lady) as the winner of the fight against Martina Horgasx of Hungary, at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut, USA, on 29/8/19<br />PHOTO: NAN

The search for young boxers in Ilorin, Kwara State capital has produced a total of 13 pugilists.

The programme, which began on Thursday, held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara State Sports Complex, where young amateur boxers from across the country took part in sparring sessions to determine their suitability for entry into the professional cadre.

At the end of the event yesterday, 13 boxers, aged between 18 and 25, emerged. Among those present at the closing ceremony yesterday, where the boxers were unveiled were President, Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Dr. Rafiu Ladipo; Secretary-General of the Board, Mr. Remi Aboderin, Director, Kwara State Sports Commission Mallam Tunde Kazeem, and representatives of the sponsors led by Ms Jennifer Ukoh, Public Relations Manager, GOtv.

The boxers were selected by a judges’ panel made up of coaches Joe Mensah, Obisia Nwakpa and Afolabi Olatoke, Vice Chairman, Kwara State Coaches Association.

The three most outstanding boxers at the programme were presented with decoders by the sponsors, who will also pay for their professional boxing licences and pre-licensing medical examination of every selected boxer.

Alaba Omotola emerged as the best boxer, while Chibudem Okafor and Abolade Akintunde emerged runners-up.

Speaking at the ceremony, the NBB of C President commended the sponsors for their immense support for Nigerian boxing beginning from 2014. He noted that it is their investments in the sport that has kept it afloat, adding that without developmental programmes such as Boxing NextGen Search, the sport’s would have very little chance of survival.

The NBB of C President urged other corporate bodies to emulate the sponsor by supporting the sport, which he said has been revived and offers immense opportunity for Nigerian youth.