Efe Ajagba upbeat, as boxing begins tomorrow
Nigeria’s sole representative in the boxing event, Efe Ajagba, is optimistic of success in the event, which begins tomorrow at Riocentro, Pavilion 6.
Ajagba has been working hard under the supervision of the technical crew, led by Coach Tony Konyegwachie.
Although The Guardian could not ascertain the identity of Ajagba’s first round opponent before filing this story, the minders of the Cameroun 2016 African Qualification Championship gold medalist in Cameroun are sure the heavyweight will come good when it matters most.
Speaking on Ajagba’s readiness for the fisticuffs, Konyegwachie said the Nigerian is not under pressure to perform.
According to Konyegwachie, “Ajagba has trained well and I can assure you that he is fit to battle any opponent. He is not under pressure being our sole representative in boxing at the Olympics.
“We are hopeful that the elements will come together to provide a good atmosphere, where Efe will show the world what he can do.”
Boxing has become one of the most anticipated events here following the rule changes that allow professional fighters to feature in the event.
The alterations promise to bring a new level of competitiveness to sweet science that will feature 286 boxers in 13 weight classes — 10 for male and three for women.
The men’s categories range from light flyweight division, 49 kilograms (108 pounds), all the way up to the super heavyweight class, 91 kilos (200 pounds) and above.
Thirty-six women will step into the ring in Rio in three weight classes: flyweight 51 kg (112 pounds), lightweight 60 kg (132 pounds) and middleweight 75 kg (165 pounds). Women first boxed at the London Games in 2012.
For the first time, professional pugilist will be allowed to compete in Olympic boxing since the sport debuted at the 1904 St. Louis games.
Elite pro fighters are not going to Rio a although some have expressed interest, such as Manny Pacquiao, who is the only fighter to ever hold championship belts in eight weight divisions. He resigned in May to pursue a career in politics and is now a Philippine senator.
The final scores in the fights will be announced as 3-0 or 2-1.
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