The Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, erupted in wild cheers just after the bell signalling the start of the sixth of the 12-round national light heavyweight title bout. The cheer was for the underdog, Adewale Masebinu, whose brutality over five rounds forced the corner of his opponent and pre-bout favourite, Kabiru Towolawi, to throw in the towel. This was the scene from the Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, venue of GOtv Boxing Night 16, on Sunday.
The fans’ exuberance was a feature throughout the duration of the event, which featured nine fights, including the West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight title bout and an international lightweight challenge contest. On parade were exciting mix of big-name pairings and a crop of debutants hoping to worm their way into the mind boxing-watching public.
As early as 2pm, snaking queues of spectators had formed at entrances to the hall itching two see action in the nine bouts scheduled. The fans hunger was understandable, given that the event was making its return to Lagos from Ibadan, where it held in July.
In the headline bout, Nigeria’s Rilwan ‘Real One’ Oladosu of Nigeria defeated Benjamin Lamptey of Ghana to clinch the West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight title. In the other international bout, reigning African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight champion, Nigeria’s Otto ‘Joe Boy’ Joseph knocked out Ghana’s, Emmanuel Mensah.
The much anticipated rematch between Waidi Usman and Chibuzor Obi provided an anti-climax, with the latter’s defeat by knockout in the second round of a national featherweight challenge bout.
A few debutants had their first moments of professional glory. These were products of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search from the last two editions of the programme. Waheed Shogbamu conquered stage fright to achieve a first-round knockout victory over Azeez Tijani in a national light welterweight challenge bout. In the same weight category, Adeyemi Adekanla defeated the more experienced Ganiyu Kolawole via a split decision. Opeyemi Elijah, GOtv NextGen Search 4, showed what is to come by defeating Sheriff Ogunbanjo in a super bantamweight clash, while Aminu Akintayo did the business on Mutiu Lawal.
The biggest winner on the night, however, was the little known Taiwo Agbaje, whose explosive encounter against Tope Musa in a national lightweight challenge got the crowd jumping from start to finish.
For his efforts, Agbaje was voted best boxer on the night, winning the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy and a cash prize of N1.5 million.