Nigeria’s boxing legend, Isaac Ikhouria, on Monday attributed the decline in boxing in Nigeria to lack of the players’ exposure to international competitions ahead of major events.
Ikhouria told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the situation was responsible for the inability of boxers to win medals at international competitions.
Nigeria won its first bronze medal in Tokyo 1964 Olympics through Nojim Maiyegun, while Ikhouria also won a bronze in Munich 1972.
Peter Konyegwachie won a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the last medal was won at the Atlanta 1996 by Duncan Dokiwari.
Ikhouria told NAN that the only way a sport could be assessed was by the number of medals the players had during international competitions.
“And if I’m not mistaken, we haven’t had any in recent time, not even in the Commonwealth Games. It’s sad.
“We have kept urging the administrators to focus on exposing the players to international competitions.
“Instead, they keep organising boxing bouts within the players. Unfortunately, the boxers won’t be boxing each other at international tournaments because they will be meeting totally different opponents.
“Talent is not our problem, but how to harness these talents, we need to be sincere if we genuinely want to return to our winning ways in all sports,’’ Ikhouria said.