A Lagos State boxer, Aishat Oriyomi has made history as the first female to win the annual Governor’s Belt since its inception in 2009.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oriyomi made the feat on Thursday at the 48th monthly Saturday Boxing Show tagged: “Governor’s Belt,’’ edition.
The last show for the year was usually tagged Governor’s Belt, which was held on Thursday, a public holiday, instead of the usual Saturday.
The show, held at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba, was witnessed by many boxing enthusiasts and top government functionaries, including the state governor, Babatunde Fashola.
The previously held four editions were won by male boxers with Rasheed Lawal as the maiden champion in 2009.
Taiwo Agbaje won the second and third editions in 2010 and 2011 while Olaide Fijabi won the fourth edition in 2012.
Oriyomi, 25, was adjudged the best boxer for the year 2013 when she defeated her Ogun State counterpart, Onome Odion 2-1 in the pulsating 54kg category.
A gold medalist at the 17th National Sports Festival in Port Harcourt, Oriyomi also won silver at the 18th edition of the festival in Lagos in 2012.
The champion, who expressed appreciation to the organisers of the event, attributed her victory to regular training and hard work.
“Above all, I give glory to God Almighty for His support for me to make history as the first female Governor’s Belt champion.
“The history will forever remain indelible and will also boost my career in boxing.
“I can also assure that my victory would also psyche up my other female colleagues to put in more efforts and also make history in this career,’’ Oriyomi said.
In the other bouts of the day, Taiwo Agbaje of Lagos defeated Abiodun Sanusi of Ogun 2-1 in 56kg, Kazeen Shoyoye defeated Olanre-waju Olokode of Lagos 2-1 in the 60kg category.
The 64kg was won by Wahab Shogbesan of Ogun who defeated Kazeem Saka of Lagos 3-0.
Fashola, while presenting the belt to Oriyomi comm-ended her for putting in all her best to be victorious at the show.
“Her performance should encourage her other female colleagues to also put in their best in this game they desired most,’’ Fashola said. According to Fashola, Lagos State will continue to produce world class boxers to replace ageing ones. “The effort of this administration of discovering talents from the grassroots is paying off as more talented athletes are being discovered yearly,’’ he said. The governor recalled that the state boxers distinguished themselves at the previously held festivals and also defeated British amateur boxers at an international encounter in London last August.
“Lagos now have more talented young boxers and the rate at which they are going right now, they are bracing for the world title.
“I thanked our coaches, referees especially Mr Wale Edun, the Chairman, Lagos State Boxing Hall of Fame (LSBHF) on the platform on which these boxers were discovered,’’ Fashola said.
Edun in his remarks promised to sustain the competition for the discovery of more boxers not only in Lagos but nationwide.
The chairman then appealed to corporate organisations to partner with the show in its quest to promote boxing in the state and to make the competition a world class standard.