The Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos brimmed with excitement on Sunday, as boxing fans in their thousands turned up at the GOtv Boxing Night, a professional event to revive the sport in the country.
Featuring six fights in five weight divisions, the event drew fans from across the social strata.
The biggest fight on the night was the national featherweight title contest between reigning champion Dare “Fighting Machine” Oyewole and Waidi “Skoro” Usman. Skoro however emerged the new champion, after knocking out Oyewole in the fifth of the 12-round bout.
Skoro, who controlled proceedings in the fifth round, produced a devastating blur of right and left punches that dazed Oyewole at the end of the round. The impact of Skoro’s punches on Oyewole forced the latter’s corner to call off the fight and Skoro was announced as new national featherweight champion.
An elated Skoro, 22, disclosed that his immediate ambition is to take a shot at the African featherweight title.
“I thank all the fans. I am going to keep this title for a long time. Next, I am going for the African title and Commonwealth title too,” he said after he was declared winner.
Skoro, winner in seven of his last eight fights, is building a reputation as a knockout specialist. Six of those seven wins, including over Oyewole, have been via knockout.
In the light middleweight category, Sunday “Capo” Olalekan saw off the challenge of Chijioke “Painless” Ngige, while Stanley “Edo Boy” Johnson did same to Saheed ” Happy Boy” Olayiwola in the junior welterweight class by a split decision of 74-77, 77-72 and 79-71.
Rasheed “Afonja Warrior” Abolaji put up an eye-catching performance against 26-year-old Dele “Lagelu” Adeleke. He defeated Adeleke by a unanimous decision of 79-71, 80-71 and 79-69. Abolaji also walked away with a trophy after he was adjudged the night’s most outstanding boxer.
In another featherweight contest, David “Lucky Boy” lived his nickname when he defeated Muhammed “Fearless” Tijani.
The heavyweight clash between Adewale “Tiger” Abbey and Tope “Young” Ogunshinusi turned out a no-contest, as the latter was adjudged to have delivered below-the-belt on his opponent.
The next edition of the event is slated for 25 January, 2015.
GOtv Boxing Night, promoted by Flykite Productions, is sponsored by GOtv, 1960 Bet, Custodian Life Assurance Plc, Paragonis Multimedia Productions, SuperSport, MultiChoice, KSquare Security and Zetaweb.
Six boxing legendsDele Jonathan, Joe Lasisi, Jerry Okorodudu, Ray Amao, Hogan Jimoh and Obisia Nwakpawere honoured at the event for their contributions to the sport. Also honoured for their contributions were the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Kenneth Minimah, who was represented by Col. A.R Bello; Dr. GK Kanu and Mr. Remi Aboderin, President and Secretary-General of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control respectively.
The event was not only about boxing, as fans were treated to music performance by former boxer, Daddy Showkey.