Ex-Olympian, Mr. Jerry Okorodudu, says unless the challenges, including lack of good managers and promoters affecting professional boxing in the country were removed, the sport would not grow as desired.
Okorodudu, a former national boxing coach, told newsmen in Lagos that promoters and managers in the country lacked the wherewithal needed to organise major bouts for boxers.
He spoke against the backdrop of poor performances by national boxers at major competitions and the non-promotion of professional boxing in Nigeria.
The former national Light Heavyweight Champion said that some boxers had left the shores of the country to continue their career because of the situation back home.
“Professional boxing will continue to nosedive in this country if we don’t have good promoters and managers who can stage befitting bouts. We have all sorts of people who parade themselves as boxing promoters and managers but they lack the basic knowledge and skills to get sponsorships to stage bouts.
“Some of our boxers go to Ghana just to get a good promoter for their fight, while others like Efe Ajegbe have relocated to the U.S. to start their career. If Ghana is getting it right in professional boxing, then we have a major problem,’’ he said.
He added that if the country did not have a thriving professional boxing industry, it would also deter the amateurs because they would not have anything to look forward.
The Olympian added that government and private organisations should also create an enabling environment for promoters and managers to operate.
“Apart from the promoters and managers, the government and private organisations also have a vital role to play. Having a good policy in place as regarding sports in general will attract companies to sports promotion,’’ the coach said.