Former boxing federation boss laments plunge

Channels Television  
Updated December 5, 2012

At the on-going Sports festival; Eko 2012 David Johnson the former boss of the Boxing association of Nigeria has berated the continued decline of standards in the sport as he couldn’t hide his disappointment because according to him, he thought by now some potential would have been achieved and transformation would have just been the challenge.

Former Boxing Association Chairman had to walk out of the boxing arena of the on-going National Sports Festival yesterday to drive home his disappointment over the poor standard of a sport that once took the country Nigeria to points of glory in the international scenes.

Nigeria have always been a force to reckon with in boxing in terms international ratings but all that is now in the past as the sport has taken a plunge due to the poor standards.

“I saw absolutely nothing. Everything was wrong about boxing and one felt like crying,” Johnson said, not hiding his disappointment expressing it in a bitter manner.

“First, the venue was not good enough. Using the gym as venue for a festival of this magnitude showed that officials and organisers lacked the depth to appreciate boxing. Then the boxers the states paraded were awful. I went to see boxing bouts but I did not see boxers.

The states are not helping matters in our sports development. And if the states can’t get it right, then we should all forget about developing sports in this country. It is the responsibility of the states to produce athletes before the national bodies will take over. And where the states are not producing, then there’s big problem.

The boxers I saw were not good at all. They were no boxers.  They fought like people who were not coached at all.

“They were wrongly selected and wrongly coached. It is a shame, a big one for a country that once had a future in the sport.

I also blame the media for not raising enough alarm on what is happening to boxing. Without the media we cannot develop sports and the earlier our sports journalists realised this, the better.

They are more interested in foreign news than what is happening here in our country.

For now, I count them as among those responsible for the plunge in our sports, especially boxing. Boxing is dead in Nigeria. It doesn’t exist anymore. Nigeria can do better.”