Lagos - The Lagos State Amateur Boxing Association (LSABA) on Tuesday said it had started the grooming of boxers to represent the state at the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Calabar, next year.
Wasiu Bisiriyu, Head Coach, LSABA, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the association was using the platform of the monthly Saturday Boxing Shows to groom the boxers.
NAN reports that the monthly Shows which hold every last Saturday of the month, were being organised by LSABA and sponsored by the Lagos State Boxing Hall of Fame (LSBHF).
Bisiriyu said that the Shows had afforded LSABA the opportunity of discovering a pool of talented boxers that can rub shoulders with their counterparts in national and international bouts.
"Some people may say next year is still far, but we are using the opportunity of the Shows to discover and groom more boxers in preparation for Calabar 2014.
"Through the Shows, we have discovered and developed lots of budding and established boxers that I believe can represent the state adequately at any local or international competition.
"The Shows have also helped the state to be on top in boxing in the country," he said.
According to him, the state topped the boxing medals table at the 17th sports festival in Port Harcourt, Rivers in 2011, with eight gold, two silver and a bronze medals.
He added that the state also topped the boxing medals table at the 18th sports festival held last year in Lagos with seven gold and two bronze medals.
The coach said that the state was determined to surpass its glory at the last two festivals, adding that that was the reason it had started on time to discover and groom talented boxers ahead of Calabar 2014.
Bisiriyu said that the 40th edition of the Shows would hold on Saturday at the usual venue, the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba, with 20 boxers featuring in 10 different bouts.
He then commended Olawale Edun, the Chairman, LSBHF and promoter of the competition, for sustaining the programme.
The coach urged other individuals and corporate organisations to partner with the LSBHF or emulate the good gesture of Edun in promoting boxing in Lagos in particular and the country in general.