Wrestling will take over from football soon, declares NPWF boss
• National unity wrestling holds Sunday
President of the Nigeria Professional Wrestling Federation (NPWF), Chief John Uche, has promised that with the right support and provision of amenities for the sport, wrestling will take over from football very soon.
Speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration and announcement of the national unity wrestling championship, tagged Thanksgiving Championship, Uche stated that wrestling could provide a solid lifeline for many youths, as well as money spinner for both the government and the wrestlers.
The event will hold on Sunday at Molade Okoya Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. He added that it is the beginning of the sports’ revival in the country, which according to him, has suffered near-extinction due to bad management and complete neglect from government. “But Nigerian sports is being resuscitated due to our efforts,” Uche said.
“We are not short of talents who are ready to shake the world internationally. What we need is support. We are really in need of funds and support from states, ministries, private bodies and lovers of this sport to make our championships great again. The NPWF will continue to be a voice for raising potential wrestlers from Nigeria as exemplified by former world title holders like the late Power Mike (Mike Okpala), Mike Bamidele, Ben Lion Heart (Ben Okoye)and others who won various world titles for Nigeria in the past,” he stated.
He added that the success of Sunday’s event would not only determine if they would continue with other championships, but would be pivotal in improving the global image of the country in the area of sports and tourism development.
“We want to tell the world that professional wrestling is back in Nigeria, and three titles are up for grabs. They are the Chief Martin Agbaso African International Wrestling Heavyweight Championship belt, which will be competed between Nigeria’s heavyweight title-holder, and his DR Congo counterpart. The second is the Explosive Ladder Championship belt and the Women’s Championship belt for women wrestlers.
Publicity Director of the Association, Olusesan Olukoya, said wrestlers are being expected from Egypt, Cameroun, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “The gate opens at 10.00am, and matches start from 1.00pm.”
On his part, NPWF Technical Adviser, Chief Vincent Dimanozie, stated that the wrestlers are well nurtured, prepared and have put in a lot of work. “These crop of wrestlers can compete against their opponents from any part of the world, including the U.S. and win comfortably,” he said.