Boxing: FG Forges New Partnership, Minister Eyes Olympic Gold

In Breaking News, Sports
Nigeria's Sports Development Minister, Senator John Owan Enoh (M) and the leadership of Yucateo Boxing Promotion led by Omolei Y. Imadu after a meeting at his office which saw a partnership to develop boxing in the country. 22/2/2024 (Credit: FMSD)

By Jonathan Ugbal

The Nigerian Government on Thursday forged a new partnership with Yucateo Boxing Promotion, YBP, aimed at promoting the sport in the country.

Boxing can be traced back to the sixth and seventh centuries when Dambe boxing was discovered in modern day Kano. However, as a public spectacle and for global recognition, the exploits of Dick Tiger and Hogan ‘Kid’ Bassey in the ‘40s and ‘50s are the earliest reference points.

The Minister for Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh who facilitated the partnership, says the initiation of a National Boxing Championship is key in achieving great heights amidst the drive for nurturing local talents, hence the partnership.

“The cornerstone and future of our sports resides at the grassroots level thus I am excited to engage with individuals who work at the grassroots level,” the Minister said when he received the YBP team led by Omolei Y. Imadu, a statement by his spokesperson, Diana-Mary Nsan says.

“Our country has a glorious past in boxing, but it is gradually losing that glory. Nigerians have the innate ability to excel in any sports, including boxing. Having won Olympic gold medals in long jump and football we should win a gold medal in boxing.

“Through strategic partnerships such as this with Yucateco Boxing Promotion, we aim to tap into the vast talent pool within our nation and provide avenues for aspiring boxers to excel on both national and international platforms.”

The partnership is expected to yield a range of initiatives aimed at nurturing talent, organizing competitions, and providing necessary support structures for athletes across Nigeria. By leveraging the expertise and resources of YBP, the Ministry will foster a thriving boxing ecosystem that empowers athletes and contributes to the overall development of sports in the country.

On a boxing championship, the Minister who said, “Nigeria has a rich history in boxing, and it’s time for us to reclaim our position on the global stage,” averred that; “While people like you (YBP) work on the grassroots level, you can upscale and work on the national level, for example by organizing a national boxing championship. With the establishment of a national boxing championship, we can provide consistent opportunities for our boxers to hone their skills, compete at a high level, and ultimately strive for Olympic glory.”

Recall that in September 2023, the boxing trio of Cynthia Ogunsemilore, Omolei Dolapo and Olaore Olaoitan qualified to represent Nigeria at the Paris Olympics later this year.

And, the minister who commended Mr. Imadu for his dedication, posited that; “We do not need just passion from those who seek to run sports at the national level, we need people who can go all out like Mr Imadu has.”

As the country sets its sights on future Olympic competitions, Senator Enoh expressed confidence that with the right support and investment, Nigerian boxers are capable of achieving greatness and bringing home coveted Olympic gold medals.

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