The Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial/GOtv Boxing Night Gym in Lagos has admitted its first crop of boxers, numbering 14 boxers who are billed to fight at GOtv Boxing Night 21 billed to hold on 27 November, checked into the international standard boxing facility on Saturday.
This was disclosed on Sunday by Flykite Productions, managers of the facility and organisers of GOtv Boxing Night, who explained that the coming edition will be behind closed doors but live on television via SuperSport in observance of COVID-19 protocols.
Their arrival for the pre-bout camping session, said the organisers, followed a visit by officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, who passed the gym fit for use, and mandatory COVID-19 tests for the boxers as well as their trainers.
The multi-million naira facility, located in New Oko-Oba in Ifako/Ijaiye Local Government Area, is funded by Chief Adewunmi Ogunsanya (SAN), Chairman, MultiChoice Nigeria and GOtv Boxing.
Conceived as a pre-bout preparation facility for local and international boxers coming to fight in Nigeria as well as an academy for nurturing promising boxers to stardom, the gym had been slated for commissioning in April, an event that had to be postponed indefinitely on account of the COVID-19 outbreak.
When fully operational, the gym’s hostel has the capacity to accommodate over 30 boxers and trainers at a time. It sits in an expansive compound and is fitted with modern training equipment such as a standard ring, thread mills, punching and speed bags, double-end bags, wrecking ball snatchers, sparring mitts, focus mitts and bar bells among others.
Boxers camped at the gym will be provided with gears such as hand wraps, gum shields and mitt gloves and will be under the supervision of some of the country’s best boxing coaches. Being a residential facility, the gym is fully air-conditioned and offers a variety of leisure facilities, including satellite television facilities and board games. Boxers in training and their handlers will also be fed throughout their stay in the facility.
Jenkins Alumona, CEO, Flykite Productions, commended Ogunsanya for his commitment to the revival and growth Nigerian boxing since 2014.
GOtv, promoted by MultiChoice, has been the biggest supporter of the sport through GOtv Boxing Night, which has been providing regular bouts through which boxers have earned considerably bigger remunerations and benefitted from exposure to international audience via SuperSport, which broadcasts the event live to 50 African countries.
GOtv Boxing Night also birthed GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, an initiative to identify and nurture deserving talents to full professional status.