About 100 boxers turned up for GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 2, which opened at the Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame Gym on Wednesday.
The initiative, conceived to raise a new generation of young and talented professional boxers, featured a press conference and sparring sessions by selected boxers.
In attendance were officials of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBBC of C), Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame, both partners, and the sponsors represented by Ms. Efe Obiomah and Johnson Ivoseh, GOtv Public Relations Manager and Marketing Manager respectively.
Also present were boxing coaches Obisia Nwakpa, Joe Mensah and Jerry Okorodudu, who supervised the sparring sessions. Speaking at the event, the CEO of Flykite Promotions, Jenkins Alumona said the partnership between GOtv and boxing is aimed at raising the standards of the sport locally.
“At the first edition, we had plenty of boxers from around the country, an indication that boxing has regained its footing. We are happy at the turnout on the opening day, which offers a further proof of the sport’s revival. Within a few years, Nigeria should be able to produce elite-class boxers. That is the aim of this enterprise,” he said.
General Secretary of the NBB of C, Remi Aboderin, praised the sponsors for reviving professional boxing in the country. “We all know that without GOtv, we would not have professional boxing as we currently do in Nigeria. Their support has been immense and we at the NBB of C are grateful for that,” said Aboderin.
Obiomah explained that GOtv will continue to support Nigerian boxing and make it stronger.
The sparring session continues Thursday. Selected boxers, whose professional licences will be paid for by the sponsors were announced on Friday.
…Unveils 16 Young Boxers
The second edition of GOtv Boxing NextGen search ended on Friday, with the unveiling of 16 promising young boxers at a brief ceremony held at the Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame Gym.
The boxers were selected from a crowd of over 100 boxers, who participated in sparring sessions that lasted two days.
Joe Mensah, renowned boxing coach and head of the selection panel, thanked the sponsors for their desire to see the country produce a new generation of professional boxers. General Secretary of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control, Remi Aboderin, described the decision of the sponsors to pay for the professional licences of the boxers as a bold sign of encouragement, adding that the products of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 1, who benefited from a similar gesture, have started doing well as professionals.
Jenkins Alumona, Managing Director, Flykite Promotions, organisers of the talent search, said one of the boxers selected from the GOtv Boxing NextGen Search will make his professional debut at GOtv Boxing Night 9 on October 2.
The selection panel identified three boxers as having showed more promise than others. They are Oluwaseyi Samson (light weight), Akintayo Femi (super middleweight) and Emmanuel Chukwuma (light heavyweight).
The three were given GOtv decoders and will join three others in camp at the Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame Gym in September.