Boxers billed to fight at GOtv Boxing Night 9, scheduled for the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium on 2 October, have intensified their training ahead of the event.
The duo of Olaide “Fijaborn” Fijabi, national light welterweight champion, and Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, national lightweight champion, disclosed that they have had to step up their training regime because they are fighting elite class opponents from Ghana.
Fijabi will be fighting Raphael Kwabena King in an international challenge contest, while Joe Boy takes on Richard “Desert Warrior” Amefun.
“I cannot afford to lose. This fight is more Nigeria vs Ghana than Fijabi vs King. I am working real hard in the training camp to ensure that my country is not made a laughing stock,” Fijabi said.
Joe Boy is similarly persuaded that the sporting rivalry between the two West African giants is one that cannot be played down.
“In sport, any contest between Nigeria and Ghana has its own life. I can’t afford to be defeated. As a matter of fact, I plan to win the N1.5million cash prize for the best boxer. Losing is unlikely to help that ambition,” said Joe Boy, a two-time winner of the cash prize for best boxer.
Semiu “Jagaban” Olapade, whose light middleweight bout with Ebubechukwu “Coded Man” Edeh is greatly anticipated on account of the huge promise the two boxers have shown, disclosed that he is in camp where coaches are smoothening the rough edges to his art. Jagaban was discovered at GOtv Boxing NextGen 2, while his opponent is a graduate of the maiden edition of the talent hunt.
Also gearing up is Ekeng “Fighting Policeman” Henshaw, who is defending his national cruiserweight title against Idowu “ID Cabasa” Okusote. Henshaw, who is rated seventh by the African Boxing Union, explained that he had to undergo intensive training because he has not fought for a long while.
“There were no promotions before GOtv Boxing Night. As such, there was no opportunity to fight, which means I have to undergo a punishing schedule to get me back into shape and beat that Cabasa or whatever he calls himself. I am close to 100 per cent and Cabasa is in big trouble,” he boasted.
Cabasa, who is being trained by former Commonwealth champion, Isaac Ekpo, dismissed Henshaw as a spent force. Other boxers for the event are also putting finishing touches to their preparations ahead of the event, which will be broadcast live by SuperSport in 47 African countries.