October 12, (THEWILL) – Aboderin Remi, the president of the West African Boxing Union (WABU), has cited has cited a lack of cooperation and support from local television stations as a major barrier impeding the expansion of boxing in West Africa.
He pointed out that boxing can be more profitable than it currently is if local television stations join with promoters to raise money to produce bigger events.
Remi said that the United States, the United Kingdom, and other advanced countries in the sport are where they are because of an improved infrastructure that allowed the sport to develop through TV investment.
The regional president singled out GoTV for special commendation.
He said: “Courtesy of GoTV, boxing has been given a new face in Nigeria. They support our promotions by taking care of almost all the expenses.
“I feel it is much bigger in Ghana where DSTV also support some events, especially those from the stable of Box Office Sports. Such partnerships bring hope to the sport and its players.”
Despite this, Remi holds that, should a larger number of local television stations get involved, the sport would grow at a far faster rate.
A former boxing promoter and journalist, the president was of the view that television stations’ engagement makes the sport more appealing to potential sponsors, making them major partners in the sport’s promotion and development.
He claimed that one reason the stations have backed off is because they expect to make a lot of money immediately.
“The beginning of such ventures can be difficult but when they stay, we can all make it big. In the [United] States and other places, it is the TV stations that drive boxing.”
WABU, he said, is doing its best in the sub-region by encouraging promoters to come up with excellent projects that would make it easy for the business sector to join.
“It is this same sport that offers the boys on the street the opportunity to make a living for themselves. Quite a number of these boxers could have become social miscreants but boxing has transformed their lives.”