By Jacob Ajom
Former African and Commonwealth boxing champion, Joe Lasisi has advised the Nigerian Boxing Federation to withdraw Efe Ajagba, the lone boxer that qualified for the Rio Olympics from the games.
Speaking with reporters at the National Stadium Lagos yesterday, Lasisi said it is a disgrace that a nation like Nigeria with a robust history in boxing would be fielding only one boxer at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“It’s a shame. A very big shame that a country that has reached the peak of boxing at the Olympics in the 1980s will be courting disgrace and embarrassment in 2016 with a lone boxer. What can he achieve. It’s a clear jamboree because he could be knocked out in the first bout. Of what use will one boxer be to a country like Nigeria than disgrace?” he asked, insisting, “we are going there for a jamboree because with one boxer what are we going to do there? Do you know our population?”
A bitter Lasisi who is now a boxing coach challenged the national boxing coach, Tony Konyegwachi of not doing enough for the advancement of the sport in the country. “I challenge him to show me how many medallists he has produced since he took over as coach. It is not enough to occupy an office but what matters is how one uses that office.”
Lasisi said poor administration of boxing in the country was the bane of the sport as amateur boxing was practically dead. “Without a good amateur culture, boxing cannot grow. It is also sad that most boxers of these days put money first before working. In our days, we work and wait for money to pursue you.”