The four female professional boxers billed to fight at GOtv Boxing Night 19 have commended event sponsors for bringing back female boxers to the event, which will hold on 14 July at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.
The boxers, Mariam Yusuf, Rodiat Yusuf, Cynthia Ogunsemilore and Adedeji Abiodun, have been selected will join the cast of male boxers billed to fight at the event. While Mariam and Rodiat are scheduled to face each other in a four-round national bantamweight challenge duel, Cynthia and Adedeji will be in action for the same number of rounds in the super featherweight division.
Speaking after their training in Lagos yesterday, the boxers thanked the sponsors for giving female boxers the opportunity to be part of the event and promised to justify their inclusion in the fight line-up by being at their best.
Cynthia, who is highly regarded on the circuit, said she is especially delighted that female boxers have been considered, as many of our colleagues will now begin to have the hope that women are not being overlooked.
She said: “I saw female boxers fight at two editions of GOtv Boxing Night and I thought there would be more. But it did not happen, which made many female boxers unhappy. We are now excited that female boxers have been brought back and our plan is to ensure that more female boxers are featured. That is why we have to do our best to earn the trust of the sponsors and organisers, who have been good for Nigerian boxing, and show that we are as good as our male counterparts.”
Mariam, Rodiat and Adedeji echoed the same sentiments, with all of them vowing to show their worth at the event. The two all-female bouts raise the number of fights for the event to nine. Seven of these are male bouts, with the biggest being the international welterweight challenge duel between West African Boxing Union champion, Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde and Ghana’s Eden Biki.
The last female at the event was the clash between Ghana’s Gifty “Tiger” Ankrah and Nigeria’s Helen Johnson at GOtv Boxing Night 3.