• Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

The best blend of Sports and Entertainment was on display in a carnival-like atmosphere as the curtains fell on 2023’s activities in the maiden Yucateco Boxing League.

The Yucateco Limited headquarters in Elepe, Igbogbo, Ikorodu, played host to the Week 8 round of bouts on Saturday 30th December as several pugilists continued their quest for the ultimate prize.

Hostilities began on the night with a one-sided affair in the men’s 51kg class as Israel Makinde of Tizimi Boxing Club raced to a 5-0 win against his opponent Samuel Dahunsi of GGFM Boxing Club.

The 57kg men’s class brought the crowd alive with plenty of fireworks by both boxers, but in the end, it took a split decision by the Judges to separate both pugilists as Ijomoni Tobiloba of YS Rano Boxing Club was declared the winner against Ifeoluwa Yusuf of Espita Boxing Club. Rasak Erinfolami of GGFM Boxing Club also got the better of Ramadan Abiodun of Tizimi BC with a 3-2 victory in the 57kg category.

The result of the 52kg bout between Joy Akpan and Aliya Ganiyu embodied the show of grit demonstrated by Akpan of Tizimi BC as she triumphed 4-1 over her opponent from Espita Boxing Club. It was a close contest in the 53kg weight class as Oluwaseun Abiodun of YS Rano BC fell to a 3-2 loss against Abduramahma Abdulwahab of Espita BC. In the other 53kg bout Shotunbo Michael of GGFM BC also suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat to Bernard Sunday of Tizimi BC.

The 75kg star bout of the night did not fall short of excitement as Lagos State Boxing Champion Michael Babalola gave the crowd plenty to cheer with a dominant 4-1 triumph over Ibrahim Jato of GGFM Boxing Club.

National boxing coach Anthony Konyegwachie who was present at the event said he had spotted a couple of boxers to be invited to the national camp ahead of the 2024 All Africa Games.

He said: “I must commend the organizers for putting this together, knowing it’s self-funded brings to mind the passion Yucateco has to grow the sports of Boxing in Nigeria.

“I and my team have spotted some good boxers here, and we hope to invite them to the national camp for trials ahead of major international championships like the All Africa Games in 2024.”

The chief host of the night and the Chairman CEO of Yucateco Boxing Promotions Hon. Omolei Imadu Yakubu, said he hopes to take the Boxing League beyond the South West States where the first phase of the maiden season has been held.

“We have done Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Oyo since we started, but the aim is to take this to every region in Nigeria as we build up to making it a Continental event in the nearest future.

“I aim to develop the next generation of boxers for Nigeria. Our focus is to ensure boxers from this league represent and win medals for the country at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028”

The Edo state-born Boxing Promoter said the final of this season’s league would be staged in Abuja in the first quarter of 2024 as the Organizing Committee has already set plans in motion to make this happen.

“We are set to take the Gospel of Boxing to Abuja with style and panache, we want to make celebrities of these boxers with a groundbreaking finale of Season One. Boxing fans in Edo should also get ready as we have something planned for the South-South in 2024 as well.”

The Yucateco Boxing League is streamed live on Yucateco TV on YouTube with some of the continent’s finest boxing commentary in English and French.

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