Nwankpa: How Nigeria can reclaim Olympics boxing glory

Nwankpa: How Nigeria can reclaim Olympics boxing glory

Thursday, December 24, 2015 12:40 pm

Obisia Nwakpa

Obisia Nwakpa

Taiwo Adelu

Former Nigerian lightweight champion, Obisia Nwankpa, has given tips on how Nigerian can reclaim its old glory in the world of boxing and especially the Olympic Games.

Boxing was the first sport that brought Nigeria in to the world map of sports. Boxing produced the first-ever Olympic medal for the country at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo when Nojim Mayegun won a bronze medal.

It was also boxing medal that the country could make out of the 1972 Games in Munich, Germany, when Isaac Ikhuoria won a bronze medal.

In 1984 Los Angeles Games, Peter Konyegwachie won Olympic silver medal, while the last time Nigeria had won a medal in the Summer Games was 1992 Barcelona Olympics when David Izonritie won the Heavyweight silver medal.

Since that time, it has been fruitless and bad outings for Nigerian boxers in the Olympic Games.

“Things can change for the better,”said Nwankpa, who reigned in the Nigerian professional boxing scene in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s winning African Boxing Union light welterweight title, and Commonwealth lightweight title in the periods.

“If we must make medal impact in the coming Olympics in Rio, Brazil, the best thing we can do is to engage these boxers in vigorous contests at world championships. It is in these championships that they can be exposed to modern trends in the game.

“A lot of new things have come into play in the world of boxing today which are so alien to our boxers. That is why we should expose them now before we feature them at the Olympics.

“I think adequate preparation is the key and exposing the boxers to modern tactics in boxing,” said Nwankpa who had a total fights of 29; 23 wins, 16 knockouts, 6 losses (3 knockouts).

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