Jenkins Alumona, the Managing Director/CEO of Flykite Productions and promoter of the GOtv Boxing Night, has described his organisation’s involvement in boxing as an intervention necessary to halt the decline of the sport in the country.
GOtv Boxing Night, a professional boxing event of six fights in different weight categories, holds at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, on 23 November. It was conceived to kick-start a redemption of the sport.
Speaking in Lagos, Alumona said Nigeria has a rich boxing tradition, which offers a solid foundation on which GOtv Boxing Night seeks to build. While recognising that in the short term, boxing cannot generate huge cash, he is convinced that with organisational nous, which Flykite is bringing, and the support of corporate sponsors like GOtv, 1960 Bet, Custodian Life Assurance Plc, Paragonis Multimedia Productions and Zetaweb, boxing has a very bright future in the country.
“Nigeria has a rich boxing history. We have produced great boxing champions like Hogan Bassey and Dick Tiger. Obisia Nwakpa also went very close. Recently we had Samuel Peters, a World Heavyweight champion.
“Our performance at the last Commonwealth Games was also very encouraging. I believe we can build on this foundation to provide a platform for professional boxing,” he said.
The decline the sport is experiencing, said Alumona, has not affected its popularity. This, he noted, is evidenced by the existence of over 50 boxing clubs in Lagos and the undiminished attraction of the monthly Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame tournament for amateurs.
Though the Flykite boss is conscious of the mighty effort required to revive the sport, he is positive that the GOtv Boxing Night will ignite a restoration. “With the help of television, the potential of any sport is huge. Until a few years ago when SuperSport came on the scene, football in South Africa was depressed. See where it is today. We have also seen how SuperSport is impacting positively on our domestic football league and a sport like basketball”, he explained.
Flykite, explained Alumona, is coming into boxing with strong organisational pedigree and will join hands with all stakeholders, including the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control, to get the sport back to where it should be.