President of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, has described the boxing talent hunt initiative, GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, as an investment in the youths of the country.
Ladipo expressed this view at the opening of the fourth edition of the programme holding at the MKO International Stadium, Abeokuta.
According to the NBB of C boss, the sponsors’ intervention in Nigerian boxing through GOtv Boxing Night and GOtv Boxing NextGen Search has ensured that many youths, who would have drifted into crime and other anti-social activities, have been given hope in life.
Ladipo urged other corporate organisations to emulate GOtv by intervening in boxing. “There are many companies making money in the country, but are unwilling to invest in the youths of the country. I urge them to consider doing so. We can produce another Anthony Joshua if other companies emulate GOtv,” he said.
GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, which continues till Saturday, drew over 150 young boxers, the highest number of registrants since it began in 2015.
The programme is designed to unearth young talents with enough scope for improvement. The boxers are engaged in sparring sessions and are being assessed by top coaches such as Joe Mensah, Obisia Nwankpa and Jerry Okorodudu.
Those selected will have their professional boxing licences paid for by the sponsors. Each of them will also benefit from a fully paid for medical examination. In addition, they also stand a chance of fighting at coming editions of GOtv Boxing Night.
Each the previous editions produced 25 boxers, many of whom had fought at various editions of GOtv Boxing Night.