Nigerian boxers dream pro careers after Olympics no-show

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Kelvin Ekerete

Head coach of the Nigeria Boxing Federation, Anthony Konyegwachi, says some boxers are contemplating quitting their amateur status after the shock end to their Olympic dreams this week.

The International Olympic Committee Tuesday announced that the 2021 World Olympic Boxing Qualifying Tournament scheduled for Paris in June had been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

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With the decision, no Nigerian boxer would compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games, following the pugilists’ failure to also attend last year’s qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal.

It’s the first time the country will not participate in the boxing event at the Games since first making an appearance in 1960.

 “What can we do? Disappointment is one of the things in life. A lot of my boxers have been calling, some are crying, they are so worried. Some of them out of frustration will turn pro,” Konyegwachi told The PUNCH.

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 “I can’t hold them, I already advised them, but the final decision is with them to do whatever they want. The next competition is the Commonwealth Games, but the decision rests with them.”

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