‘I gained a lot from Muhammad Ali’s boxing style’
FORMER national boxing Coach Obisia Nwakpa has said that the fame recorded by legend Muhammad Ali contributed so much to the development of the sport.
Ali, who turned 73 years on Saturday, is one of the most famous boxers of all time, becaming the first person in history to win the heavyweight champion title three times.
At the lighting ceremony at the 1996 Olympics, Ali showed the world his strength and determination in dealing with the debilitating effects of Parkinson, which he has survived 30 years after he was diagnosed.
As boxing fans around the globe join in celebrating Ali’s 73rd birthday, Obisia told The Guardian in Lagos that the man had impacted so much on the game.
“I picked up Ali’s method of boxing and it contributed to my success during my active days as a boxer,” Obisia said. “It really favoured me a lot and till date, Ali remains my mentor and motivator. He made me to believe that there is progress in boxing.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, NBB of C, Remi Aboderin, has urged the federal government to create an enabling enviroment for young boxers to exhibit their talents for the development of boxing in Nigeria.
He told The Guardian that creation of an enabling environment would encourage many people into the game, adding that it would also go a long way in creating a means of livelihood for them to become better people in the society.
Aboderin recalled that boxing used to be the number one and most popular sport all over the World until it was over-shadowed by football. “But boxing can return to what it used to be, if the government encourage the game.”
He advised the National Sports Commission (NSC), to appeal to corporate bodies to sponsor other sports instead of focusing attention on football.
Aboderin commended GOtv for putting smile on faces of boxers through its sponsorship of the game, adding that it had gone a long way in shaping the sports.