*Gift Cole Chiori (2nd left) poses with his Junior Middleweight World Boxing Federation, WBF, belts with Paul Chiori, the CEO of Achievers Entertainment Company Limited, and two of their musical acts during a media presentation in Lekki, Lagos recently. –
Gift Cole Chiori is undoubtedly a promising Nigerian boxer who has the credentials to rule the world stage in the near future.
The undefeated and athletic pugilist, popularly known as ‘The Hitman’, returned home from his base in USA recently to talk about how he grew up from a humble beginning to become one of the world’s greatest boxers.
“I can recall my days on the streets as a young boy growing up with my peers. Nobody brought me out of the streets until I discovered myself”, Gift told eyeonthesports.com in Lagos.
Gift, who defeated German champion, Tom Reiche in the 4th round of the Junior Middleweight World Boxing Federation, WBF, title fight in America on 9 November, 2013, said; “I was determined to make it big in boxing, and here I’m today with the WBF belts to show for my effort”.
“As a young boy, I was always dreaming big, hoping that I will become a big fighter someday. Although, I faced many challenges, which could have derailed my ambition, but I stayed focused and ensured that my dreams come true. Thank goodness, the rest is history today”, Gift told eyeonthesports.com.
His last bout, tagged ‘The Lights Out Series’ held at the Grand Ball Room, 6100 Live Oak Park, Norcross in Atlanta Georgia, USA, increased Gift’s victories to 10, winning 9 of them on knockouts.
Gift’s only fight, which lasted the distance, was against American house boy, Nate Petty on 20 July last year. Eyeonthesports.com recalls that one of the fights which brought Gift to the limelight was his first bout in America as a pro-boxer, when he defeated Michael Sunkett of Louisville, Kentucky.
“After my last fight in America, I came home to tell Nigerians and my fans what I have done so far. My journey has been a long one. I started in South Africa, where I was sent back to West Africa to fight in Ghana. I fought there and won before returning to Nigeria again, then I finally moved to America to continue with my career.
“I achieved these successes with the help of my family. I must confess that it has not been easy; especially with funding, but my special thanks go to the Achievers’ Entertainment members, who have been there for me in all ramifications”, Gift said.
Gift also expressed his appreciation to the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, NBBofC, saying the body through its Secretary General, Remi Abodunrin stood by him each time he ran to them for official assistance.
The Asaga-Ohafia born boxer from Abia State, South East Nigeria, however disclosed his readiness to discover young talents from the grassroots by staging some boxing clinics and tournaments in the New Year.
“I want to help by bringing the kids who have talents out of the streets to come and realise their potentials. The youth programme is paramount in my plans for 2014, and I also want to stage two or three fights at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos State, Nigeria”, Gift added.
The stocky boxer is however knocking at the doors of well meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies in the country to come and give his new projects some financial backing.
“We are looking forward to getting more sponsors to assist us in our plans to give hope to the young ones who are still on the streets. I have moved around the country and discovered that there are many talented youths out there waiting to be tapped and we need to expose them.
“However, we want the Federal and States’ governments to come and join hands with us, I’m passionately appealing to my State Governor, Theodore Orji of Abia State to come and support us as well”.
Gift also plans to engage three top boxers in tough duels before his next title fight this year, and his major dream is to win more belts including the IBF and WBC.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Achievers Entertainment Company Limited, Paul Chiori has praised Gift for doing his family, Nigeria and Africa as a whole proud with his talent.
Paul, who accompanied Gift to Lekki, where the boxer presented his WBF belts to the media at a Press Conference recently said; “We’ve been doing this in conjunction with the NBBofC and other sponsors. We are happy to support our hero.
“Gift is a talented boxer. He is one of the great sports men and women doing great for our country and we are proud to say he is a good ambassador of this country”.