Nigerian boxing coaches and enthusiasts have given kudos to the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) president, Kenneth Minimah who is spear heading a revival of boxing after being in a comatose state over the years.
As a start, Minimah a serving Nigerian Army Major-General bankrolled the National Open Boxing Championship which will come to an end today at the National Stadium Surulere.
It has been nine days of continuous boxing action with 21 States and the Nigeria Army, Police and Civil Defence slugging it out for recognition.
“We are very grateful to our president for providing financial muscle to run this competition. If he didn’t bail us out our preparations for forthcoming international events would have been hampered,” said Babatunde Laguda who is the acting secretary of the federation.
Also speaking was former Nigeria international Christopher Ossai. He submitted that holding the national championship was a step in the right direction as it would stimulate the States into action.
“Apart from Lagos State, boxing is virtually non existent in most of the states. We are really glad that General Minimah is very active and we hope to see more of this championship in the coming years,” said Ossai who is Delta State head coach.
Female boxer, Kehinde Obare also added that the championship was like a shot in the arm for the country’s boxers.
“We are very glad that the championship is holding. It is an avenue for us to show what we have been doing in training,” said the boxer who serves in the Nigeria Army.
She added that the competition was very tough as every boxer was desirous of making the Nigerian team for the variuos tournament that the country will participate these include the 18th African Elite Boxing Championship in Mauritius, AIBA Youth Women Boxing Championship in Belgium, AIBA World Boxing Championship in Kazakhstan and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.