Jerry Okorodudu Former Olympian claims boxers train under mango tree in Delta

Okorodudu said this was due to the absence of a boxing gymnasium in Delta that could enhance the promotion of the sport.

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Jerry Okorodudu

(PM News Nigeria)

Jerry Okorodudu, Nigeria’s boxer in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, has condemned how existing and up-and-coming boxers train under a mango tree in Asaba, Delta.

Okorodudu said this was due to the absence of a boxing gymnasium in Delta that could enhance the promotion of the sport.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that the boxers usually trained under a mango tree at a corner beside the Asaba Township Stadium.

“It is a shame for Delta not to have a standard boxing gymnasium where its boxers can use for practice; instead the boxers and their coaches train under a mango tree.

“I am calling on the present administration in  Delta State to visit this issue, and pay adequate attention to the plights of existing and upcoming boxers,” he said.

He said that such a problem should not be identified with a state that had produced boxers that had represented the nation at in international competitions.

“Many of the country’s boxers at the Olympics were from Delta State. We are a force to reckon with also at national championships.

“The records are there for anyone that wants to verify.

“We have William Azanor, (56kg) in 1980 Moscow Olympics, Christopher Ossair, (60kg) two-time Olympian, 1980 Moscow and 1984 Los Angeles, in which I also featured.

“Joe Orewa (52kg) and Peter Konyegbachi also represented the nation at the 1984Olympics, while Gabriel Onoko, (52kg) was in Barcelona Olympics.

“The most recent boxer is Efe Ajagba ( +91kg) category who was at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“With all these stars, Delta should have a standard gymnasium,’’ he said.

The Brisbane Commonwealth bronze medalist was optimistic that the state would produce more boxers that would make the country proud at national and international scenes, if provided with a modern gymnasium.

Such gymnasium must be equipped with modern facilities such as a boxing ring, boxing bags, assorted guards and coaching/training pad to enhance their training, he said.