The President of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Rafiu Ladipo believes the nation’s pugilists now have a brighter future, going by the huge amount of cash at stake for the 12th edition of the GOtv Boxing Night.
Fighters in the 12th GOtv Boxing Night will earn N12 million as prize money from the event, which will return to the National Stadium, Lagos on October 1.
The GOtv Boxing Night had a six-month break after the 11th edition held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium Ibadan, on March 26.
Ladipo, who was elected NBB of C president four months, added a new feather to his cap two weeks ago when he was appointed the Director of Commonwealth Boxing Board of Control. He told The Guardian in Lagos at the unveiling of boxers for the 12th GOtv Boxing Night that Nigerian boxers should be able to capitalise on the ‘naira rain’ from GOtv to establish themselves.
At the event in Ibadan in March, light welterweight tyro, Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, emerged the best boxer to win the N2 million attached to the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Prize, the biggest amount ever paid to a Nigerian boxer fighting locally.
GOtv Boxing Night 12, according to the sponsors and organisers, will be considerably bigger than all the previous editions. Also speaking at the ceremony in Lagos, Mr. Martin Mabutho, General Manager (Marketing), MultiChoice, said the company decided to make the event more rewarding for boxers as a way of motivating them to greater achievements.
Boxers, said Mabutho, will earn a total of N20 million in prize monies. In addition, the Mojisola Ogunsanya prize for the best boxer of the event has been expanded to reward two runners-up. The cash prize for the best boxer, Mabutho said, has been raised to N2.5 million. For the first time ever, runner-up and second runner-up for the best boxer award will get cash prizes. The runner-up will go home with N1 million, while the second runner-up will walk away with N500,000.
A total of seven bouts across weight categories have been scheduled, out of which four are international bouts, with the biggest being the African Boxing Union lightweight title defence duel featuring defending champion, Stanley “Edo Boy” Eribo and Tanzania’s Ramadhani Shauri.
Similarly big is the Commonwealth Africa lightweight title fight between Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph and Dillon Yule of South Africa.
Another title fight will see the explosive Olaide “Fijaborn” Fijabi, the West African Boxing Union light welterweight champion, defend his title against Ghana’s Bilal Ibrahim. The fourth international bout is a featherweight challenge contest between Nigeria’s Waidi “Skoro” Usman and Tanzania’s Juma Fundi.
In another light welterweight clash, the fast rising Baby Face will go up against Christmas “Tornado” Tombraye, just as Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu will take on Samuel Opaogun in a lightweight clash.