LAGOS – A boxing promoter, Onyeka Elum, said on Wednesday that more entrepreneurs would be interested in providing sponsorship if boxing were to be integrated into the entertainment industry.
Elum made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while speaking against the backdrop of the poor state of professional boxing in the country.
He said that combining certain aspects of entertainment with boxing would add some zest to the sport, attract more patronage and sponsorship as well as be a viable source of income.
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“There is a lot of entertainments in boxing, but if we can bring out that entertainment I believe, we will get more sponsors just as we have in other countries – Europe, America and the rest.
“Basically, some part of Africa, mostly West Africa. In Ghana they do boxing mostly every week because they see the entertainment aspect of it.
“They show it live on TV; people go to watch and sponsors get returns from it, unlike in Nigeria here where we don’t have sponsorship and you don’t have TV stations coming in to broadcast it.
“That is the problem we have.“
The promoter, therefore, urged the media to contribute their own quota to the growth of the sport through adequate publicity.
According to him, the growth of the sport cannot take place without the support of the media.
He said: “The media right now are trying; most media organisations are trying to come into boxing to see how they can help.
“But the truth is we should have more media organisations – be it broadcast or print. It should not be about profit making for now; it should be about selling our athletes, selling our talents – what we have here in Nigeria.“
Elum, therefore, appealed to private organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to invest in boxing. (NAN)