By Ben Efe
Nigeria boxing federation president, Rotimi George Taylor, disclosed yesterday that there are plans to keep Nigerian boxers in top shape for the competitions of 2010 including the Commonwealth Games in India.
Taylor was speaking against the background of underachievement by Nigeria amateur boxers since the 2007 All Africa Games, where for the first time they failed to win a single gold medal. The Ogun state-born sports administrator, who took over the reigns of the boxing federation in May 2009, stated that the main thrust in 2010 was to expose Nigerian boxers to a series of local and international competitions.
â€œFor us in 2010 it will be total revival of boxing. It is going to be a busy year for our male and female boxers.
â€œWe have competitions lined up ahead of the junior Olympics in Singapore and Commonwealth Games in India. The federation is working to select a team of talented boxers who will undergo trial competitions before the Commonwealth Games,â€ Taylor said.
Nigeriaâ€™s rich amateur boxing tradition has declined steadily with Duncan Dokiwari winning the last Olympic medal – a bronze at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta USA. This was after Nigeria recorded two bronze medals at the Barcelona Olympics with Richard Igbineghu and David Izonritei winning. This was after other boxing greats like Peter Konyegwachi won Nigeriaâ€™s first silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.