The West African Boxing Union, WABU, has commended pay-television service provider, GOtv, for its continuous support for Nigerian boxing through GOtv Boxing Night, which is its 14th edition, and GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, a talent hunt initiative.
Speaking in Lagos on Friday, Mr. Remi Aboderin, WABU President and Secretary-General, Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), said Nigerian boxing owes its return to vitality to the immense support provided by GOtv since 2014 when GOtv Boxing Night 14 debuted.
Aboderin, a former boxing promoter, recalled that before GOtv Boxing Night began, promotions had dried up, leaving boxers inactive. The situation, he explained, damaged the chances of promising boxers, who had no outlet for their talents.
“We were in a bad place before GOtv Boxing Night began. There were no promotions and our promising boxers lost the opportunity to fight. The few who fought did so infrequently and earned so little for their efforts. Now, things have changed and very fast too. Boxers are fighting more regularly and are testing themselves against the best in the West African sub-region and Africa as a whole. They are earning considerably better sums. The country has also produced many sub-regional and three continental champions in different weight categories,” said Aboderin.
He urged other corporate organisations to emulate GOtv, so that Nigerian boxing can develop faster. The WABU President stated that Nigeria has talented boxers, as shown by the GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, which already has one of its products, Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde about to fight for the WABU welterweight title against Djossou “Agoy” Basile of the Republic of Benin at GOtv Boxing Night 14 holding at the Indoor Sports of the National Stadium, Lagos, on 14 April.
The seven-bout event will also see Nigeria’s Waidi “Skoro” Usman take on Kenya’s Michael “Shaka” Nyawade for the African Boxing Union (ABU) title. Similarly included in the bout line-up is the national lightweight title contest between Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu and Kazeem “Ijoba” Badmus.
The best boxer at the event will go home with N1million and the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy.