Joe Boy, born Joseph Otto, the national Lightweight boxing champion, says the sport has the potential to attract tourists to Lagos State and make it a major entertainment hub in Nigeria.
Otto won N1 million cash and the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy as the best boxer at the 2016 GOtv Boxing Night 9, after beating Ghana’s Richard “Desert Warrior” Amefu via unanimous decision in an eight round international challenge contest.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos that hard work was the secret of his success.
Otto said: “Nigeria is a great country with a large population that has the potential to support and encourage the entertainment industry.
“Boxing is one of the sport that is capable of attracting people from far and beyond, thus impacting positively on the country’s tourism sector.”
The boxer said sports, especially boxing, had the potential to be a major tourist attraction to the state and country if it was adequately invested in.
Joe Boy urged private organisations and wealthy sports enthusiasts to emulate GOtv in terms of sponsoring competitions for upcoming athletes to sharpen their wits and skills.
He said: “GOtv has really encouraged a lot of upcoming boxers through their sponsorship programmes.
“It was through them that I won N1.5 million at the Gotv Boxing Night 9.
“If more private organisations can encourage sports through organising more competitions, it will go a long way to improving the quality of our athletes.”
Joe Boy made his boxing debut on March 15, 2015 and has fought in eight bouts totaling 42 rounds of fights with 50 per cent knockouts.
He is currently the number 298 boxer of 2,000 in his category globally.