By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Former Nigerian national team boxing coach Obisia Nwakpa and the country’s 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics boxer, Segun Olalehin have congratulated Nigeria's boxers at the ongoing Africa Boxing Championship in Yaounde, Cameroon which serves as qualifiers to the boxing event of Rio Olympics in August, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The duo of Super Heavyweight boxers; Efe Ajagba and Efetobor Apochi have recorded wins against their opponents in the pre-Olympics qualifiers.
Efetoboro Apochi defeated Morocco's Abouhanda Abdeljalil 3-0 in Session 1 of the Africa Boxing Championship in Yaounde on Saturday morning while Ajagba who fights in the 91+kg defeated Michael Sekamembe from Uganda on points in the Session 2 of the competition on Sunday.
Nwakpa particularly praised gold medallist at the 11th All Africa Games in Congo last year, 2015, Ajagba, whom he believes will qualify for the Olympics and likely win a medal for Nigeria at the Rio Olympics.
"The good start of the boxers is commendable. Let's hope the next round will also be good for Nigeria.
"Efe (Ajagba) and Apochi are exceptional boxers. I have reservations about the manner the Association go about our preparations of our boxers, but these guys are representing Nigeria so we must all wish them well.
"I see Ajagba as a medal prospect at the Olympics. I pray he makes it. Apochi is good in his own right too, and should make it (qualify)," Nwakpa, now into sports consultancy told Completesportsnigeria.com.
Segun Olalehin, who fights in the 67kg, but is unable to be part of the team representing Nigeria in Cameroon due to a knuckle injury he sustained while in training in December 2015 urged total concentration by the Nigerian pugilists and hopes the officials will be fair in their calls.
"I knew the guys who are representing us will do a good job. We have seven good boxers (the male boxers) out there and they are capable of beating any opponents.
"All I want from them is total concentration, and for fair officiating and right decisions to be made. We are not shaking. We've got good boxers.
"Unfortunately, I'm not there physically with them due to my hand, but I pray for their success," the younger brother of Team Nigeria's technical coach, Adura Olalehin told Completesportsnigeria.com.