I’m appealing to the state government to put good facilities in place. As it is now, the only way boxers train, is by tying a sand bag on a tree to serve as a punching bag. Their welfare should also be considered,’’
Jerry Okorodudu, a former African Lightweight Boxing Champion, on Thursday, decried the plight of boxers representing Delta at the ongoing maiden Kenneth Minimah National Open Championships in Lagos.
Okorodudu from Delta, voiced out his feelings in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, venue of the championship. He noted that the boxers were not provided with the necessary facilities that would make them excel at the competition.
Okorodudu said that the state, known for producing good boxers in the past, had failed to nurture budding talents for the competition due to the neglect of the sport. "It’s a shame that Delta State boxers have been sleeping at the venue of this competition since it started last Friday, and some of them even beg people for money to feed.
"In the past, boxers in the state were well equipped, but now, we can not boast of a single boxing gym in my state, and this has affected the growth of the sport. This competition also serves as a national trials for the All Africa Games; I don’t see any of our athletes doing well because they are not motivated,’’ he said.
The former champion then appealed to the new government in the state, to rescue the sport from its current predicament. "I’m appealing to the state government to put good facilities in place. As it is now, the only way boxers train, is by tying a sand bag on a tree to serve as a punching bag. Their welfare should also be considered,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the championship, with over 200 male and female participating, will end on July 4.