Boxing  

How Alaafin of Oyo inspired Joe Boy to retain ABU title at GOtv Boxing Night 15

Prince Fatai Nurudeen (right) and Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph (left) during the national lightweight champion bout at GOtv Boxing Night 7

The presence of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, played a major role in the victory recorded by Nigeria’s Oto ‘Joe Boy’ Joseph over a resilient Ghana’s Nathaniel Nukpe in their African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight title fight at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan on Sunday night.

The complex (now Obafemi Awolowo Stadium) shot Nigeria into the world boxing fame in 1962 when it hosted the first world boxing title fight in Africa, where the country’s Dick Tiger defeated America’s Gene Fullmer to win the World middleweight boxing title.

On Sunday night, all eyes were on the Indoor Sports Hall of the Stadium for the GOtv Boxing Night 15, with focus on Joe Boy for the ABU lightweight title.

Among those present was the Alaafin of Oyo, a great lover of boxing. “Before I stepped into the ring for the fight, I saw the kabiyesi seated with his palace chiefs, and it lifted my fighting spirit,” Joe Boy told The Guardian shortly after overcoming his Ghanaian opponent in a 12-round contest.

Though, the Nigerian won, many boxing fans at the venue fell in love with the Ghanaian pugilist for his doggedness and style of boxing.

Also on the night, Ridwan ‘Scorpion’ Oyekola, a product of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, won N1 million for emerging the best boxer of the night.

Oyekola, who was voted second best boxer at GOtv Boxing Night 13 last December, defeated Prince ‘Lion’ Nwoye in a thrilling lightweight challenge bout. He was wildly cheered by the capacity crowd.

Another GOtv NextGen Search graduate, Michael ‘Lion Heart’ Godwin knocked out Idowu ‘ID Cabasa’ Okusote in a cruiserweight contest.

Ibadan’s boxing hero, Akeem ‘Dodo’ Sadiku, knocked out Franc Houanevgbe of the Republic of Benin in a middleweight duel, while ABU light welterweight champion, Olaide ‘Fijaborn’ Fijabi, defeated Kazeem ‘Iberu’ Ariyo in a national challenge contest.

Daniel ‘Big Shark’ Emeka defeated Sulaimon ‘Olags’ Adeosun in the light heavyweight division, just as the light welterweight duel between Vincent ‘Dada’ Essien and Segun ‘Show Boy’ Olalehin was declared a no-contest.

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