Ahead of the African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight title bout, boxing fans have been giving their opinions on who they think will triumph between reigning champion, Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, and West African Boxing Union (WABU) champion, Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu.
The bout, which headlines GOtv Boxing Night 20 slated for 12 October at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos, is widely rated as the biggest boxing bout on Nigerian soil in more than two decades, the reason it has provoked enormous interest among boxing fans who have taken to the social media to express their views.
Both boxers remain undefeated since turning professional and are currently involved in a long-running war of words which, on four occasions, saw them being pulled apart to prevent an exchange of bare-knuckled punches. The rivalry dates back to their amateur days, during which they were said to be the best of the crop and view each other with no little degree of sporting animosity.
A boxing fan, Moses Adejoh Mansa, believes that Joe Boy is a better boxer and will retain his title.
“Joe Boy all the way. Any day. Any time,” he posted on a Facebook thread on the coming bout. Sharing the same sentiment is another fan, who identifies himself simply as Adeola. He is convinced that the ABU champion is more skillful and will win the fight.
However, many others are rooting for Real One. Adetokun Abayomi Mike, for instance, admits that both boxers are very good, but tipped Real One to carry the day. “I go for Real One. I know both boxers well, but power will change hands on that day,” he wrote. He found many others agreeing with his sentiment, with Oluwatobi Sunday, Martins Abiola and Oladunjoye Lateef Olawale both posting “Real One all the way.”
To others, the fight is too close to call. Rising lightweight boxer, Isaac “I-Star” Chukwudi, is torn between the two boxers, who he described as his favourites on the domestic scene. He stated that if it was up to him, he would prefer that they do not meet at this stage in their careers.
“I never wanted this fight to happen now because both are the best we have in Nigeria. I was hoping that Joe Boy would vacate the ABU title for Real One, while he goes after a bigger title. I don’t want either to lose,” he said with barely disguised regret that they two have been paired.
Another Facebook user, Zeezo Reezo, is similarly in two minds and just wants to see the better boxer win. “Real One is good, but Joe Boy is a good puncher, so let the better man win,” he wrote.
Joe Boy, a three-time winner of the best boxer award at GOtv Boxing Night, is facing arguably his toughest opponent yet in Real One, who has also won the award on two occasions.