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Nigerian boxers will rule in Congo, says Okorodudu

Nigeria’s Efetobor Apochi lands a punch on Australia’s Jai Opetaia during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The heavyweight boxer is in team listed for next month’s All Africa Games.                                Photo: AFP

Nigeria’s Efetobor Apochi lands a punch on Australia’s Jai Opetaia during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The heavyweight boxer is in team listed for next month’s All Africa Games. Photo: AFP

Four years ago in Maputo, Team Nigeria managed to grab three silver medals in the boxing event to finish sixth behind Algeria and Mauritius. But this time around, assistant boxing coach, ex-Olympian, Jeremiah Okorodudu is predicting a better outing for the country at the Congo 2015 All Africa Games.

The Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) on Wednesday unveiled a 12-man boxing team to represent the country at the 11th All Africa Games holding from September 4 to 19 in Congo, Brazzaville, and Okorodudu says the pugilists are the ones to watch out for at the Games.

In particular, Okorodudu is banking on the duo of Efetobor Apochi (91kg) and Efe Ajagba (+ 91kg) for gold medals in Congo.

The 12 boxers left in Team Nigeria’s camp at the Kenneth Minimah Boxing Hostel at the National Stadium, Lagos, are made up of 10 male and two female. Four coaches, including Okorodudu, will lead the boxers to the battle of Congo.

According to Okorodudu, out of the 10 gold medals available in the boxing event in Congo, Team Nigeria would grab at least two.

“All the boxers in our camp are potential medalists, but I can confidently say that the two Efes (Apochi and Ajagba) have what it takes to silence every opposition in Congo. I am also banking on our boxer in the flyweight category,” Okorodudu said.

While Apochi will be Team Nigeria’s medal hope in the men’s heavyweight event, Ajagba will be the cynosure of all eyes in the super heavyweight category.

Okorodudu is of the opinion that unlike the misadventure in Maputo 2011, where Algeria and Mauritius cleared three gold medals each to be the overall champions in boxing event, Team Nigeria will give a good account of itself in Congo.

Okorodudu, a member of Nigeria to Los Angeles ’84 Olympic Games, is pleased with the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Alhassan Yakmut, for what he described as ‘good caring’ for the athletes and officials in the various camps of Team Nigeria preparing for Congo 2015 All African Games.

Other boxers in the team are Muyideen Oyakojo (49kg), Taiwo Abiodun (52kg), Sanusi Abiodun (56kg), Rilwan Oladosu (60kg), Shogbanmu Waheed (64kg), Korede Adeniyi (75kg), Ademuyiwa Kehinde (79kg) and Danuloko Ekele (81kg). The female boxers are Caroline Linus (51 kg) and Ogoke Agu (75kg).



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