THE family of the late hotelier and boxing promoter, Chief Francis Aiyegbeni, has donated a boxing facility to the Oyo State Amateur Boxing Association (OSABA), in a bid to immortalise him.
The gymnasium located on the premises of Walan Hotel, MKO Abiola Way, Ibadan, which comprises boxing ring, bathroom and toilet was handed over to OSABA led by its chairman, Baron Akintunde, during a ceremony which had in attendance stakeholders in boxing, boxers, coaches and the family of the late Aiyegbeni.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Bolade Aiyegbeni said her late dad worked tirelessly to develop boxing till he died.
“Considering the love our late father had for boxing and his contribution towards the development of boxing both at the amateur and professional level in Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general, it is the desire of my humble self and the Aiyegbeni family to uphold this and immortalise his name with the game he loved so passionately.
“On behalf of the family, I hereby wish to put the boxing ring alongside the gymnasium left behind by our father under the management of the Oyo State Amateur Boxing Association. I will like to stress that the boxing facility is open for use by all boxers in Oyo State and will be privately managed by the association.
“By doing this, we sincerely hope that the boxing legacy of Chief Francis Aiyegbeni will be preserved and could continue to contribute to the development of boxing even in his sleep,” Bolade noted.
In his remarks, Chairman of OSABA, Baron Akintunde thanked “the family of our late mentor, Chief Francis Aiyegbeni for deeming it fit to immortalise his name by putting the boxing gym he left behind under the care of OSABA. We believe this gesture will in no small measure help the development of the game”.