By Kevin Okunzuwa
Benin – The Edo government has not withdrawn its promise of sponsorship of a world boxing championship fight between Nigeria’s Alex Ekhorowa and an Egyptian opponent, an official said on Wednesday.
Osagie Crusoe, Special Adviser on Media Communications to Edo’s Gov. Godwin Obaseki, said the state government would keep its promise.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin that “being a sports-loving personality’’, Obaseki would never renege on his promise, especially on an issue concerning sports development.
The aide attributed the delay in government’s sponsorship of the fight to a communication problem which would soon be sorted out.
“There was obviously a communication gap here, which should not have happened. But it has been sorted out and very soon the belt will be sent to the Deputy Governor, whose office directly oversees sports for the official unveiling of the belt,” Crusoe said.
NAN reports that the General Secretary of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Remi Aboderin, had in June 2019, confirmed the GBF lightweight category belt’s delivery to Edo.
He had said it was delivered at the Edo Government House in Benin for the governor’s official presentation to the federation.
Aboderin further told NAN that GBF had sent the belt to the governor because his state is the official sponsor of the fight between Ekhorowa and Mustapha.
“The Nigerian boxer is the number one contender in that belt’s category and the NBB of C as the local sanctioning body has also approved that the fight should take place in Benin.
“The board is now waiting for the promoter to contact it for the final necessary logistics for the fight,” he told NAN.
NAN reports that several months after the belt’s arrival in Benin, nothing has been heard about the fight.
This had feulled speculations that the governor had reneged on his promise of ensuring that the state government sponsor the fight.