Ex-international and former champion, now assistant national boxing coach, Jerry Okorodudu has condemned Delta State government for its inability to provide training facilities for boxers in the state, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Okorodudu said it is regrettable that the state’s boxers usually train under a mango tree at a corner beside Asaba Stadium.
“It is a shame for Delta not to have a standard boxing gymnasium where its boxers can train; instead the boxers and their coaches train under a mango tree.
“I am calling on the current administration in Delta State to visit this issue, and pay adequate attention to the plight of the up-and-coming boxers.
“Many of the boxers who represented the country at the Olympics came from Delta State. We are a force to reckon with also at national championships. The records are there for anyone that wants to verify.
“We (Delta State) had William Azanor, (56kg) at Moscow ’80 Olympics, Christopher Ossair (60kg) both at Moscow 80 and Los Angeles ’84 Olympics.
“Joe Orewa (52kg) and Peter Konyegwachi also represented the nation at the 1984 Olympics, while Gabriel Onoko (52kg) was in Barcelona ’92 Olympics.
“The most recent boxer is Efe Ajagba (+91kg) category, who was at the 2016 Rio Olympics. With all these stars, Delta should have a standard gymnasium,” said Okorodudu, who represented Nigeria at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
The Brisbane ’82 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, however, consoled himself with a verdict that he believes the state will produce more quality boxers if provided with a modern gymnasium.
“Such a gymnasium must be equipped with modern facilities such as a boxing ring, boxing bags, assorted guards and coaching/training pad to enhance their training,” he said