Africa Games silver medalist Afeez Osoba has won the 2019 Lagos Governor’s Belt.
Osoba was adjudged the best boxer on Thursday in the 11th edition of the annual tournament as he defeated Oladimeji Solanke from Ogun State in the pulsating 69kg fight at a packed Molade Okoya-Thomas Sports hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium.
The 2018 Youth Olympics silver medalist Ajidat Gbadamosi was voted the second best boxer of the year while two-time Governor’s Belt winner, Ayisat Oriyomi, finished the year as the third best boxer.
Osoba, an electrician, said 2019 has been a memorable year for him and hopes his victory can spur other boxers to greater heights in their career.
“Above all, I give glory to God Almighty for His support. This year has been a very blessed year for me.
I have represented Nigeria at the Africa Games in Morocco and now winning the Governor’s belt. I hope my victory will inspire others to keep on fighting.”
He also commended the Lagos Amateur Boxing Association for their commitment to the growth of boxing by engaging boxers in regular competitions and urged other states to emulate Lagos Sports Commission efforts in boxing.
He added: “If programmes like this can be replicated by other states boxing associations, Nigeria would be the front runner in boxing in Africa.”
Also speaking at the end of the tournament which serves as the climax of sporting events for the year in Lagos State, the Chairman of the Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame (LBHF), Olawale Edun reiterated the commitment of the LABA/LBHF initiative towards developing boxing from the grassroots.
“LBHF’s main objective is to develop boxing and the Governor’s Belt is an avenue for our young boxers to exhibit their immerse talent on a regular platform.”
The former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State added: “The LBHF and LABA collaboration is a testimony of public private partnership. We have successful hosted over 108 tournaments every month over 10 years. I am sure no government would want to discontinue this win-win initiative. We must retain, maintain and sustain it.”
The Governor’s Belt, which is the premier competition for amateur boxing in Nigeria, had boxers from other states compete with boxers from Lagos.