By Solomon Nwoke
LAGOS State firebrand pugilists, Fijabi Olaide and Joseph Otto in the men’s 64kg and 60kg weight categories yesterday, enlivened the indoor Sports Hall of the National Institute For Sports (NIS) to the admiration of the fans as they mesmerized their opponents with hard punches.
Fijabi and his teammate, Otto are some of the promising boxers who gave good account of themselves as they defeated their opponents with long margins, beating them 11points to one and 12 points to one apiece in their respective weight categories.
Speaking shortly, after his bout, Fijabi who is the defending champion in his weight category said he is focused to retain his title in this year’s festival
Equally, the host state\s boxers showed their uprightness to do their state proud as all their pugilists won all their bouts to move into the second round.
Dauda Azeez in the 49kg defeated Yusuf Olalekan of Rivers, Akeem Akinade in the 52kg defeated Sodiq Moammed of Kano, while Kazeem Oliwo defeated Oyekola Rilwan of Gombe in the 56kg category.
However, boxing fans and the boxers at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos yesterday lamented frequent power outages and lack of ventilation at the hall of the National Institute for Sports (NIS).
The fans said that the problems did not allow them to enjoy a steady flow of bouts as matches were being regularly disrupted due to power failure.
The fans added that the lack of ventilation in the hall did not allow for fresh air, compelling the spectators to fan themselves with either hand fans or handkerchiefs.
Segun Alobo, a fan, said that the frequent power outages was unbearable and was disturbing the crowd from enjoy free flow entertainment.
“I don’t know why the organisers cannot provide a stand-by generator for a big event like this. Several times, the power outages have disturbed the free flow of entertainment,” Alobo said.
Idayat Kazeem, another fan, said that the lack of ventilation in the hall increased the heat which she said also distracted the concentration of the boxers.