Fadilat Tijani upset favourite, Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Yetunde Odunuga, to win the women’s 60kg fight at the national trials at the Brai Ayonote Boxing Complex, National Stadium, Lagos to automatically book a slot in Nigeria’s boxing team for the Africa Games.
Fadilat Tijani scored a split decision victory over a shocked Odunuga with many of the fans, mostly from the Nigerian Army protesting the decision.
Odunuga’s shocking defeat was the prelude for a bad day for the soldiers as more army boxers lost their scheduled fights.
2015 African Games silver medalist, Caroline Linus lost her 51kg female fight to two-time Lagos Governor’s Belt champion, Ayisat Oriyomi while Osita Umeh lost to the superior punches from a determined Abdul-Afeez Osoba in the Men’s 69kg fight.
There was a mild drama trailing Umeh’s loss as some soldiers became agitated and wanted to disrupt proceedings but were quickly subdued and asked to vacate the venue.
When the programme restarted, Lawal Lukmon beat veteran Ekele Danuloko in their 81kg men’s fight while Yusuf Adeniji overpowered Micheal Adesodun in the 56kg class.
National Festival gold medalist, Adejumola Toyin beat Mary Ekong in the women’s 75kg fight while Gabriel Francis recorded a narrow split decision victory over Arinze Franklin.
Imoleayo Adebayo won his +91kg fight against Segun Ibrahim in the last fight for the trials.
The Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) announced that camping for the 12th Africa Games, which will take place from 19 to 31 August 2019 in Rabat, Morocco, will commence immediately after the trials.