Isaac Ikhuoria, a Nigerian pugilist, has demanded for more amateur boxing competitions among youths to strengthen professional boxing in the country.
Ikhuoria, a retired light-heavyweight boxer who won a bronze medal at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.
“Many of us who are fortunate to have participated in this game to high extent, we have always complained that we are not having enough competition it is glaring.
“I must say, but for the competition, regular competition some of us were involve in during our period we will not have reached the position we are now.
“There are no regular competitions and there is no other way out than having regular competitions to discover talents and improve on such talents.
“If we have strong amateur competition in boxing, then the professional stage of it will thrive; it’s just like having weak primary and secondary school system in any country.
“The university level will not be as strong and good as it ought to be.”
NAN reports that Ikhuoria coached Nigeria at the Barcelona Olympics, where David Izonritei and Richard Igbinegbu, won silver medals in the Heavyweight and Super-heavyweight categories respectively.
Nigerian athletes have won a total of 24 medals in the Olympic Games since 1952, mostly in athletics and boxing.