… as Isaac Ikhouria, others hail Council Chairman

Following days of preparations, speculations, and promotion of the maiden edition of the Oredo Games 2024, the main action of the boxing events kicked off with a fun fair on Friday.

It was the second day into the 3-day boxing horn-locking fiesta with feast contestation at the ringside of the indoor sports complex of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.

The host and organizer of the event, Dr. Tom Obaseki, the Executive Chairman of Oredo Local Government Council, had on Thursday, launched the 3-day boxing engagement to climax the first ever most mouthwatering tournament likened to the International Olympics, since the days of boxing giants, Davison Ande and Isaac Ikhouria in Benin City, where such tournament allowed boxing athletes who represented the state and country to excel.

Since the initiative, first hatched by the administration of Dr. Tom Obaseki, which aimed at creating opportunities for a sporting career for Nigerians of Oredo extraction hit the airwaves, it sparked positive debates amid commendations about how it was worth every second of the time spent in anticipation.

A few minutes into the hour mark designated for the kickoff, the ring announcer Ronnie Jacobs, who also doubles as Special Assistant to the Council Chief, announced the boxing contestants, and officiating referees, where he also informed that the boxing bout would take just three rounds.

While both boxers and fans around the indoor sports complex of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, the venue for the event were kept waiting for the undercard bouts, the thankful Council Executive Chairman, Dr. Tom Obaseki stepped forward declaring that it was not a day for speech-making but for action, noting that it was quite the spectacle and worth the wait.

Following, the referee, Abisole Blessing signaled the first clash of the day between two female boxers, Precious Alile representing Oredo and Precious Okoh representing Ikpoba Okha to commence round one of the round three bouts.

Precious Alile, 67kg, of Oredo Council wasted no time in the first round with her lightning feast as she double-punched the Ikpoba Okha opponent when she staggered but recovered after the referee had checked if she could continue.

In the second round, Precious Alile continued to dominate the boxing bout to the admiration of the cheering crowd as she raked in more points.

After the third round, the judges Unanimously declared Precious Alile of Oredo Local Government Council the winner of the three rounds of the boxing bouts.

In the Second match of the day, for the female boxers, Arthur of Oredo also defeated Aderamola Omolayo of Ibadan’s counterpart after dominating the proceeding for most of the three rounds of the bouts to boost the records set by Oredo in boxing games across the country.

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For the male middle-weight category boxing bouts, between Chukwuka Emmanuel of Oredo and Confidence Ogbeide his counterpart from neighbouring Ikpoba Okha, 71kg, it will remain in the memory of the huge crowd who witnessed the lightning spinning of blows per second that also got the organizers on the edge in anticipation for more to produce world boxers from Oredo.

Before long, it became obvious that Chukwuka Emmanuel of Oredo was on his way to victory even though the clear resistance of his opponent who gave accounts of himself after some cracky punches that subdued the continuous advancement of Oredo’s Emmanuel.

Halfway into the third round of the match, the center referee had to call it to a halt as she spotted an injury to Confidence Ogbeide of Ikpoba Okha and however, declared Oredo winner of the match after a Unanimous decision reached by the judges.

The last match of the day, between Bathelomeu Christian of Oredo and Gifted of Lagos caused an eruption of fans who continued to shout a confrontational approach after the duo unleashed what seemed a flurry of punches to exact their dominance in a blockbuster performance.

This act got spectators to their feet in awe of their unrelenting energy exhibited to dominate each other within the spell of the three rounds bout display. However, Bathelomeu Christian of Oredo emerged winner after an unanimous decision.

In a post-match interview, Isaac Ikhouria a retired light-heavyweight boxer who won a bronze medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics and also won a gold medal at the 1973 All-Africa Games a year later said he was excited that the Oredo Government Council is organizing the boxing competition

Ikhouria pointed out that the game will remove restive youths with hidden talents from the streets as it serves as a great opportunity for them. He warned the boxers to limit their talents to the ring adding that boxing has rules and regulations.

For the Special Assistant to the Council Chairman on internalisation,
Ronnie Jacobs, there is no better time to thank the initiator Dr. Tom Obaseki for putting the fantastic boxing exercise together for youths, noting it will put Oredo on the global map.

Ronnie Jacobs called on all to support the initiative.

The 3-day events ended on Saturday with presentations of medals and financial rewards to the winners.

Some dignitaries who attended the boxing bout include the Secretary of Oredo Council, Dr. Wellington Osadolor, Irabor Anthony, Rep Ministry of Youth & Humanitarian Affairs, HOD Social, Margaret Alegbe, HOD Information, Harrison Oronsaye, HOD Procurement, Ekhator Zeliab, all Supervising Councillors, Special Advisers, Councilors and others.