All the 14 boxers lined up for the seven bouts at GOtv Boxing Night 21 and their coaches will undergo COVID-19 tests, organisers have disclosed. The event, which holds on November 27 at the Rowe Park Sports Centre in Lagos, will be behind closed doors and be broadcast live across Africa on SuperSport.
Speaking in Lagos , Jenkins Alumona, CEO of Flykite Productions, organisers of the event, said boxers and their coaches scheduled for GOtv Boxing Night 21 are required to take the tests in accordance with safety protocols prescribed by the authorities.
“The virus is still raging, as we can see from the infection data. The sponsors are big supporters of Nigeria’s efforts at curbing its spread and making the society safer. It is for this reason they have graciously accepted to fund the tests, so as to ensure that boxers who get on the ring are free of the virus. Safety is the number one priority Major sporting activities around the world have resumed and are available to fans only on television. Boxing fans will not miss much. They will see top-class boxing action by tuning into SuperSport on the day of the event,” said Alumona.
Those scheduled for the tests are already at a location where the tests will be carried out by Clina-Lancet Laboratories, one of the medical diagnostic laboratories approved for the purpose by the Lagos State Government. Boxers and coaches whose results are negative will then proceed to the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Gym, where they will be camped for two weeks before the event. During this period, they will be regularly visited by a medical team from a government hospital that will monitor compliance with safety measures.
Alumona also added that all safety measures against COVID-19 have been put in place at the facility, which is the brainchild of Chief Adewunmi Ogunsanya (SAN), Chairman, MultiChoice Nigeria and GOtv Boxing. A team from the Lagos State Ministry of Health, on Wednesday, visited the gym, named after Chief Ogunsanya’s late wife, and passed the facility fit for use.
GOtv Boxing Night 21 was to hold in April, but was postponed following COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent ban on crowd-attracting activities.
The event will see the return to action of big-name boxers such as Olaide “Fijaborn” Fijabi, former African Boxing Union (ABU) light welterweight champion; Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight champion; and Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, WABU welterweight champion, among others.