By Babatunde Ogunrinde
No fewer than seven fights took the centre stage at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, to a sellout capacity crowd for the 14th edition of the competition.
The edition saw three title fights as Rilwan “Babyface’’ Babatunde out- punched Djossou Agoy Basile from Republic of Benin by way of technical knockout in the fourth round of 10 rounds fight.
Babyface eventually won for himself N1million and the Mojisola Ogunsanya Best Boxer of the night. He emerged the new West African Boxing Union (WABU) Welterweight Champion.
The fight night saw other four outstanding challenge fights that got fans in the sports hall savouring every moment of how the boxers gave their best to out-punch their opponents.
Mabutho, who was also charmed by the performances of the night, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the event had reached its peak and boxing fans should expect more.
“We are happy to deliver the goods to boxing fans; before we came on board, boxing was nowhere and we are proud after three years we can boast of 14 editions already.
“We have seen many of our boxers work their gloves off to become Kings of Africa and we can back more boxers to come up and showcase their stuff.
“We intend to go into other states up north, south-south and in the eastern parts where boxing fans all over can feel the impact of what Lagos fans are enjoying,’’ Mabutho said.
Similarly, Rafiu Ladipo, the President Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C) thanked the organisers for their efforts in promoting boxing at its best in Nigeria.
He said the promoters and sponsors that had come on stage to support boxing had made the sport to gradually pick up and could be counted as the number one sport.
“I am so proud of the organsiers of GOtv Boxing.
“I also want to say a big thank you to Flykite Promotions which has continually worked tirelessly to change the face of boxing in Nigeria.
“Soon we will see more boxing events springing up because of the challenge GOtv has thrown to other promoters out there, indeed it’s a thing of joy for me,’’ Ladipo said.
NAN reports that following some gruelling hard punching fights Sulaimon “Olags’’ crushed Majesty “Majesty 1’’ in a unanimous decision of their national Light Heavyweight challenge.
Chukwuebuka “Wiseking’’ Ezewudo dismissed Semiu “Jagaban’’ Olapade 58-55, 55-53, 58-58 to claim the National Welterweight challenge fight.
Abiodun “Afinity Afinito’’ crushed Ramon “Hyena’’ Razak 59-54, 57-55, 59-54 in their six rounds National Cruiserweight challenge.
Rilwan “Real One’’ Oladosu pummeled Kehinde “Ijoba’’ Badmus into submission in the sixth round of their 12 rounds fight for the National Lightweight title.
Waheed “Skoro’’ Usman did not disappoint his fans as he powered an 11th round technical knockout of his Kenyan opponent, Micheal “Shaka Micheal’’ Nyadwade in a thrilling encounter of their 12 rounds fight.
Usman, who had lost once on the same stage has now cleared all doubts as a boxer with a great come back, he has now been crowned the Africa Boxing Union champion.
Oto “Joeboy’ Joseph was adjudged victorious over Prince ‘Lion’ Nwoye the Police man, 96-94, 97-93, 97-95 in an epic national lightweight challenge that could go down as the fight of the night.
A disappointed Nwoye told NAN that he was confident he did everything to prove to the judges and the fans that he was better than Joeboy.
“I won the fight, this was clear robbery, I am not happy about the decision of the judges, but I have to move forward maybe I will get a rematch,’’ Nwoye said. (NAN)