It was providence that positioned Bob Keffi Alagoro, one of Nigeria’s renowned boxers to meet the wife of founder of Winners Chapel, Mrs. Faith Abiola Oyedepo, way back in 1978 at the sportscity, the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos
Mrs. Oyedepo was at the stadium during one of her routine evangelism to preach and win souls for Jesus Christ when she met her brother Engr. Olawale Ige (MFR), who was Head, Postmaster, Lagos lsland Territory at the defunct Post and Telecommunications Department (P&T) in Lagos, southwest Nigeria. Alagoro was in a training session with Engr. Ige in physical exercise at the stadium. Ige was also a benefactor to Alagoro during this period
Engr. Ige was later to be appointed as the Minister of Communications (1990-1992) and Minister of Aviation (1993).
Engr. Ige introduced his training partner to Mrs. Oyedepo that she should meet Alagoro, one of Nigerian promising amateur boxers. It was at this point that the wife of Oyedepo, whose husband’s ministry was gradually picking up then, looked unto Alagoro and prophesized into his life, saying “my son, you had decided to be a boxer, as I can see you are training as a boxer.”
Mrs. Oyedepo went on to ask Alagoro how old he was, and the boxer replied that he was 19 years of age.
The clergywoman went on to pray thus: “I pray that you will become an unbeatable, untouchable and undefeatable boxer from today, as I am talking to you, whatever you have decided to be in life you will surely be in the name of Jesus. I wish you good luck. You are a winner, and you will continue to win in Jesus name.”
Bob Alagoro told News Break that the words of prophesy from Mrs. Oyedepo have not stopped working in his life ever since that day in 1978 when he was 19 years old till now that he is aged 63.
Alagoro was truly exceptional in the pugilist trade as he retired as an undefeated champion as Mrs. Oyedepo had said.
He narrated in details how the words of the woman of God have been working in his life through his career in an interview at his base in Badagry in Lagos State.
“In 1980, I became Lagos State amateur champion, while in 1981 I was enthroned as Nigeria’s national amateur champion. The certificate giving to me was signed by Samuel Ogbemudia, the then Governor of old Bendel State during a national championship held in the state. I won silver medal for Lagos State at the National Sports Festival held in Benin in 1981. I could remember I had a big cut below my eyes after my fight in the semifinal and due to this injury, I was disqualified to fight against Jerry Okorodudu in the final. Jerry won the gold medal of that fight without throwing a punch.
“In 1982, as a P&T staff, I participated in the P&T Sports Festival in Kaduna. I won a gold medal and the best boxer of the year award.
“In 1984 I turned professional and I am proud to say that between that 1984 and 1986, I had 11 unbeaten fights to become Nigeria’s national super welterweight champion.
In 1994, he became the West African Super Welterweight champion by beating the former champion, Bensa Apotifi of Burkina Faso, while in 1997, he defended the title against Bob Rasheed of Ghana who he beat in round 2.
“Let me state for the record that I had an interesting career in boxing especially in the professional cadre. In 1999, prior to my fight against Akan Udoema, who was then based in Italy. He was popularly called the “Knockout Specialist”, I was sponsored to the camp by P&T, which had become Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) then. I was in the camp for three months training ahead of the bout with Udoema. On the day of the fight, the National Stadium was jam-packed. I vowed to myself that if I won this fight I would quit boxing, but if I lost, I would kill myself and as a Winner, defeat won’t be my portion in this fight.
“There was a lot of dignitaries including Engr. Olawale Ige, Bash Ali and a host of others who came to watch the fight, while the Akran of Badagry sent a representative. Interestingly, I was the underdog in the fight, but as God would have it, I knocked out Udoema in round five of that bout.
“At the end of the fight, as I had earlier vowed, I announced my retirement from active boxing after 23 years of glorious career. I could recalled the words of ‘Mama Oyedepo’ that I would be unbeatable, untouchable and undefeatable. These words spoke volume in my life even till now.”
The Prince of Topo in Badagry disclosed that he had been closer to God as a worker in Winners Chapel. According to him, he was just offered a job with the Lagos State Sports Commission as a Coordinator of boxers in Badagry and its environs, a job that will give him the opportunity to invest his experience on upcoming boxers in the community. He also disclosed that he has an academy called Bob Alagoro Boxing Academy in Badagry, a platform where he is investing and impacting what he has acquired as experience over the years on the younger generation.
He wanted the supports from well-meaning Nigerians to take the academy to the next level.
Alagoro is also planning a historic boxing championship where he wants to fight for him to be the first African to step into a boxing ring at age of 63, a record breaking achievement for an aged boxer in his retirement.
”This is my dream at retirement. I want to break a record. This is a big project that has been on my mind for a very long time, but paucity of fund has not allow not to fulfil this heart desire. I am calling on Nigerians, corporate organisations to rally round me to organise this historic fight in Lagos. I have been able to meet the Akran of Badagry who is so much excited to see one of the sons of Badagry doing well in his chosen career and he is in support of this project,” he said.
In his message for young boxers, he said: “If a man of 63 years still aspire to fight, what are the youth waiting for? Nothing can stop you from achieving your heart desire. I want to encourage our youth to aspire to become like Bob Alagoro in the future.”