Lagos - A total of 60 boxers will be invited to a training camp by the Nigeria Boxing Federation for the upcoming All Africa Games.
The 16 weight class champions that emerged from the inaugural Kenneth Minimah National Open Boxing Championship gained automatic entry. The venue for the camp is yet to be announced.
The team will depart for the Games in September and national boxing coach Anthony Konyegwachi is confident that the team will bring back many medals.
Also read: Nigeria targets five gold in boxing at the All Africa Games
“We've got the materials...the boxers are on ground," Konyegwachi told punchng.com
"The two months left may just be enough for our camping; when we begin, we will polish them to the standard we want. The country is saying there's no money, so I wonder how we are going to prepare to the best standard that we want. But I can assure the nation that we will return with nothing less than three gold medals.
"Lukman Lawal is gradually depreciating. If he was in Europe or America, he should have turned pro a long time ago, making money. But here, we recycle him because he is a good fighter. This year's All-Africa Games would be his third, if he makes the team.
"He has been to two All-Africa Games and he's an Olympian, so maybe he is losing interest and not giving his best. He lost his fight in the semi-finals probably due to overconfidence. A similar thing happened at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where he lost to a Kenyan opponent he should have beaten easily.
"But we shouldn't continue with this attitude of organising our trials with just a few weeks to a major event. We should give the coaches time to work on the boxers.
"While we have yet to begin camping, other African countries have started theirs weeks back. The situation is even more complicated for us because we will not be going on a training tour, but there will be competitions for them before they leave for Congo."For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.