Sir Olawale Okunniyi, Chairman of the Nigeria Organising Council (NOC) for the defence of the World Boxing Federations (WBF) Super Featherweight belt won by Nigeria’s Ridwan ‘Scorpion’ Oyekola in 2020 has announced the Postponement of the international boxing bout earlier slated to take place in Ibadan on 26th December to the first quarter of 2022.
The shift in date of the much touted boxing event was disclosed in a statement issued at the weekend by the NOC in Ibadan and made available to newsmen by the media officer of the NOC, Ola Olanrewaju Agiri, where the Chairman cited the statement issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) on Monday which confirmed that Nigeria is currently experiencing a fourth wave of coronavirus pandemic, the Omicron variant as a major factor for the Postponement.
Based on this development, Okunniyi, the NOC boss said the NOC has contacted WBF on the Postponement of the duel and that a new date will be worked out by his council in consultations with the WBF in putting every arrangement place to actualize the new date.
“The NCDC has warned Nigerians against violating the COVID-19 guidelines during the yuletide, and we want to abide by that by ensuring that all citizens including the vulnerable ones are protected against the virus, hence we can’t go ahead with the earlier schedule of having the bout during this yuletide, moreso most international flights presently have been cancelled” Okunniyi announced.
He however hinted that based on related issues, there may also be a change of opponent from Georgia’s Giorgi Gogatishvili, earlier scheduled to fight for the belt to another challenger to be determined by the boxing governing body, the WBF sometimes in early next year.
Photo captions: WBF Champion, Ridwan Scorpion Oyekola and Minister for Youths and Sport Sunday Dare. me mm