Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C) at the weekend elevated three amateur boxers in Kwara State to become professional boxers in the country.
President of NBB of C, Dr Rafiu Ladipo who announced the elevation named the trio to include Alaba Omotola, Uhibudon Okafor and Abolade Akintunde.
The new professional were among the 13 amateur boxers that emerged at the two-day boxing tournament sponsored by MultiChoice -GOTV held at the indoor sports hall of Kwara State Stadium Complex, Ilorin.
Speaking at the closing of the tournament, Dr Ladipo said that MultiChoice GOTV who are the sponsors of the tournament decided to move it to various places in the country because it believed that Nigeria has lots of potentials.
He said, “This competition started in 2017, we have gone to places including Ibadan, Abeokuta, Lagos, Benin, Kano and Ilorin because we believe that we have potentials and World champions can come from those areas”.
He advised those that were successful in the tournament to continue to train and imbibe discipline adding that boxing is a discipline sports and urged those that were not selected in this tournament to continue to train and correct where they went wrong in preparation for future events.
Ladipo said, ” For the 27 participants who were not selected in this competition, you should not be discouraged, you have to continue to train and correct where you go wrong.
“To those selected, it is the beginning of a journey, if you want to take boxing as a profession and you want to become professional boxers, you have to continue to train and imbibe discipline, boxing is a discipline sports”, he said.
Ms Jennifer Ukoh, Public Relations Manager, GOtv said that the boxing tournament which started in 2016 was aimed at imparting skills and knowledge in the youth who constituted larger percentage of the population of the country.
The Coordinator of the competition, Johnson Bamidele said that 20 bouts were held in the two days competition adding that 40 amateur boxers took part out of which 13 were successful while three were elevated go professional.
Bamidele said that MultiChoice would foot the registration and licence fee of the three elevated boxers.
He therefore advised other boxers who could not make the final choice should not relent in their efforts saying that, they can still make it the nearest future of the competition.
Meanwhile, some boxers who could not make the list were given consolation prizes by the organisers as a way of motivating them ahead of future participation.