Nigeria boxing team Saturday night fulfilled their earlier promise by winning 4 gold and two silver at the 11th All Africa Games which has been described as the dawn of a new day for boxing in Nigeria judging by the three silver medals won by Nigeria in boxing at the 2011 edition in Mozambique.
On the night that will remain one of the best night in the history of boxing in Nigeria, Olufemi Oyeleye opened the gold haul as he defeated Nsango Njikam of Cameroon in the Men’s welterweight category. In the female catogory ,Edith Agu also defeated Rana Abdelhamud of Egypt in the women’s middle 69-75kg final before Linus Caroline settled for a silver medal after narrowly losing to Bouchene Souhila of Algeria in the Women’s Fly 48-51kg category. African champion, Kehinde Obareh confirmed her undisputed status when she won gold in the Women’s Light 57-60kg on a platter of gold following the withdrawal of Hlimi Khouloud of Tunisia despite being at the venue as she cited no reason for her withdrawal. Meanwhile, against all expectations, Commonwealth games bronze medalist, Efetobor Apochi who was expected to pick gold medal in his bout surprisingly lost to Kennedy St. Pierre in the Men’s Heavyweight 91kg by Knock Out as he settled for silver. Ajagba Efe capped the golden night in the day’s last fight as he defeated Keddy Agnes of Seychelles in the Men’s Super +91kg category. Reacting after this feat, former Olympic and Commonwealth Games boxing gold medalist, Tony Konyegwachie who led the team to Congo commended the boxers for their performance. “I am very satisfied with the achievement and I must commend the boxers for their efforts too. I promised Nigerians before coming down here that we are winning three to four gold medals and we got four gold, two silver, I am very happy.” The Nigeria national boxing coach said Efetobor Apochi ran out of gas in towards the end of his match before dropping his hands and allowing his opponent capitalise on it. “This is boxing and anything can happened. The referee stopped the fight, it was a technical error on my boxer’s part because he completely ran out of gas.” “Today was the best fight so far because the heavyweight boxers were just boxing from the beginning to the last round. I was impressed.”