Boxing Regains Lost Grounds in Nigeria, Two WBF Titles at Stake on New Year Day 2021 in Lagos
Two World Boxing Federation (WBF) title bouts will headline GOtv Boxing Night 22, in Lagos, southwest Nigeria on 2021 New Year Day.
The novel Coronavirus is, however, forcing the all-important boxing championship to be held behind closed doors in line with the dictates of Covid-19 protocols and will feature a total of seven bouts, the organizers said in Lagos Wednesday, December 9.
The welterweight category will see Nigeria’s Rilwan “Baby Face Babatunde, West African Boxing Union (WABU) champion fighting Tanzania’s Mkalekwa Salehe Omari for the WBF (International) title. The lightweight division will see the exciting Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, WABU lightweight champion, taking on Ghana’s Emmanuel Quartey for the WBF (International) lightweight title.
The organizers tell Timescape Magazine that the bouts will be beamed live to boxing fans on GOtv Select 2 (channel 34) and DStv channel 209.
Tanzania’s Mkalekwa Salehe Omari
GOtv Boxing Night 22 will be the second edition of the championship to be held behind closed doors. The last edition, which was held on November 27, was the first.
Speaking on the coming event, Jenkins Alumona, CEO of Flykite Productions, organizers of GOtv Boxing Night, said the two WBF title fights provide an indication of the resurgence of Nigerian boxing.
Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu
“The WBF is major boxing global boxing authority and we are delighted that it has approved these bouts. On account of WBF’s profile in boxing circuits, it’s safe to say that the boxing body has continued to be impressed by GOtv Boxing Night sponsors’ intervention in Nigerian boxing.
"In 2019, we staged the WBF (Intercontinental) heavyweight title bout and we’re about staging two WBF titles in one night. The evidence of growth is indisputable. We thank the WBF for its support,” said Alumona.
Ghana’s Emmanuel Quartey
The Flykite boss also urged boxing fans to tune in on the event day, adding that the decision to hold the bouts behind closed doors is in the interest of public health. He noted that many sporting events abroad are still being held behind closed doors in accordance with the advice of health authorities.
The boxing championship has been bankrolled since the first edition by the Nigeria's pay TV giant, GOtv, an entertainment company under the MultiChoice Group.