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2 boxers with London Repton Club declare intention to fight for Nigeria
Two Nigerian boxers with Repton Boxing Club of London, Umar Sadiq and Ben Falaja on Sunday in Lagos declared their intention to fight for Nigeria if called to camp.
The duo disclosed this to journalists at the end of a three-day third annual International Bout with Lagos Boxing Club held between Sept. 21 and Sept. 23.
The first leg of the two-legged bout was held at Ikoyi Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos while the return leg was held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.
Lagos Club won the first leg 4-2 while Repton avenged with a 4-1 victory in the return leg.
Sadiq and Falaja said that they were willing to assist Nigeria with their wealth of experience and exposure to help bring back the lost glory of the sport in the country.
According to them, Nigerian boxers are talented, but needed exposures for them to withstand and overcome their foreign counterparts at international competitions.
Sadiq, 24, from Kano State, said that he took to boxing as a way of recreation while schooling in London.
Falaja’s father, Mr Abayomi Falaja, who was present at the bout, told NAN that Nigeria has lots of sports potential in Diaspora who could help Nigeria regain its lost glory in sports.
“I play table tennis, but my son said he loved boxing and I gave him all my support. I just hope he will be called to the camp for him to express his determination,’’ he said.
Falaja’s father, a former Lagos State table tennis champion, then urged sports administrators in the country to ensure that discovered talents were exposed for sports to thrive in the country
The 81kg boxer who said her mother was from Benue, said he was discovered by the Repton Club while representing his school and he had since won several competitions in London.
Sadiq who sealed his club 4-1 victory in the return leg of the bout against Wasiu Balogun of Lagos Club, said that he was in Nigeria’s camp during preparation for the just-ended London 2012 Olympics.
“But I was dropped because I sustained injuries,” the dark complexion Sadiq said, adding, however, that he was still willing to fight for Nigeria if he was invited.
“I am still willing to use my experience and exposures to help Nigeria regain its feat in boxing if I am called to camp again,’’ Sadiq said.
Falaja, 23, from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun, said that his ambition was to be among Nigeria’s boxers for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
The 69kg boxer who in the second leg of the bout outpunched his Lagos Club rival, Ganiu Hammed, said he was also discovered by Repton Club.
The light complexion boxer of British mother said he developed love for boxing since he was six years old and that he had won several national and international clubs championships.