By Oladimeji Loko in Rio:
Big puncher Efe Ajagba will attempt to defy logic tonight as he begins his quest for for an Olympic medal at the Riocentro Pavilion 6.
Ajagba, the only Nigerian boxer here in Rio, is without a sparring partner and he’s here with only a coach — NBF’s Tony Konyegwachi – an amazing development because you need at least two corner men in boxing.
But the Sapele-born boxer is unfazed by this, the fighter who has won sometthing for Nigeria at any international competition he represents national team since 2014 is not ready to make an exception in Rio.
Already rated fifth by AIBA, Ajagba’s massive reach advantage will will come in handy against his opponent, Paul Nigel of Trinidad and Tobago, tonight in their +91 km Super heavyweight clash.
The 2015 Africa Games gold medal winner’s build-up to these games has been pathetic.
He is perhaps the only athlete at the games who had no exposure in terms of training outside the country after qualifying for the Olympics.
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He had to make do with the dilapidated and outdated equipment at their training camp at the National stadium in Lagos.
Ajagba had insisted before the games that he had nothing to lose but a lot to gain if can do well in Rio.
A Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in 2014 when he first represented Nigeria at any international competition, Ajagba is rated fifth here behind only four boxers– World Boxing Series Season V winner Hrgovic Filip of Croatia, APB circle 1 fighter, Nestor Michal and German’s Pfizer Erik another APB fighter.
Current World Champion, Tony Yoke of France comes fourth in front of Sapele-born fighter.
“I will do my best as usual,” the tall fighter answered to a question on expectations from him.
The boxing event is holding at 9000 capacity Riocentro Pavilion 6 of the sprawling Olympic Park located in Barra De Tijuana district of Rio De Janeiro.