Blaise Ude, the Enugu state boxing coach, says he will organise street boxing competitions, in collaboration with other coaches, to discover talents for the state.
Ude said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Friday, saying that the state needed to discover new talents to replace boxers that had left the state.
He said: “Before now, we used to discover boxers from secondary schools, the streets and Universities.
“Every year, you have to search for new boxers. This year, we plan to stage street boxing where we will discover talents.”
Ude said that the competition would be organised from one street to another in Enugu in order to channel the energies of the youths into profitable ventures than street fighting.
He said: “Many of our boxers have left the state because they complained of not being properly taken care of.
“They complained of no allowance, no employment and these have made our vocation very difficult.”
Ude urged the state government to take measures to retain their boxers, pointing out that those that left could not have done so if they were properly catered for.
He said: “These boxers are not working but are talented and have passion for the sport but they need something to motivate them.
“We train twice a day and after the morning training and you do not have something to eat, how will you continue?
“Our boxers left for other states where they are offered allowances and other incentives.”
Ude said that he intended to expose the boxers through zonal activities and the trial for All African Games coming up this year.
He said that the Southeast coaches and officials decided in their meeting to have zonal and state boxing championships.
He said that they also agreed to start boxing league in the zone, in order to keep boxers ready for national and international competitions.
He called on the state government to build a gym, where they could mount their boxing ring.
He further appealed to the government to help boxers with boxing gloves, canvas and other equipment and give boxing the necessary attention to excel.
He said that individuals and associations had continued to support boxing in the state and appealed to the government to play its part in the development of the sport.