Opulent Alhaji Ailero, an Islander, a retired Immigration office, an elder-stateman, custodian of the rich history and development of Mushin who was also a boxer while he was a little boy, took time off his tight schedule to address the boxers and other athletes with in the premises of Eko Boys’ Junior High School, he encourages them to be of good character and to be respectful at all time, to pay attention to details, he eulogies them by drawing instances from Anthony Joshua’s victory, he said: “Anthony Joshua became heavyweight champion by defeating Tyson Fury as a Nigerian and everyone want to reckon with him because he has succeeded in his boxing career, I can see many Anthony Joshua here in this training ground, all you need to do is to grow in line with coach instructions.
Parents of those days had wanted their children to be lawyers, engineers, doctors and had never wanted them to be boxers because a boxer is tagged as tout, as a young boy I was also a boxer but wasn’t a tout.”
These days, parents wants their children to be successful as a boxer. You can see Henry Akinwande, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Mayweather doing great through boxing they weren’t born with gloves in their hands, they also started learning from one academy to the other, so I beg you all to be of good conducts to achieve your aim with the help of God and notable Nigerians which I will continue to seek their indulgence to be of help so that the untapped opportunities in the neighbourhood’s can be positively used to the glory of Mushin and Nigeria at large.
No touts here I believe and I pray your parents will reap the fruit of their labour,” he concluded.
Coach Abimbola Kolawole, a once undefeated champion years back is the helms man in charge of grooming responsible and willing to learn young boxers in Mushin, a suburb in Lagos State, under Mushin Local Government.
Coach Kola, as he is fondly called within and outside his locality is also into selling boxing equipment’s ranging from Boxing ring, tooth guard, boxing gloves, jersey of all sizes including every other gadget you can think of concerning the punch throwing sport.
While boxing as an amateur, he was not comfortable with the language of waiting on the queue for bout slot, he fought through the hierarchy till he got to the top and defeated the champion (Welter Weight Champion) .He had also fought and won medal during West African Boxing Union (WABU) organised boxing competition.
As a defending champion with no one to challenge him, he progresses in his boxing career by establishing his own boxing club called Youngstar, a registered youth boxing outfit currently making waves in Mushin, which uses Eko Boys’ Junior High School, Mushin as a training base.
Although, the school authority did not onlyaccommodate him as an alumni of Eko Boys’High School, but going by his antecedents and positive contributions to youth development in the suburb.
Under his tutelage he has seen off boys who threw punches to stardom, some gained full employment into the military while others went into police force some are instructors: Tunde Aderogba, Saheed Balogun, Rilwan Akande, Fatai Balogun, Kudirat Balogun, Wasiu Balogun, Samuel Opaogun, Agbaje Taye (Esepo), Sikiru Shogbesan to mention a few, some have represented Lagos State, while some had represented the federal.
He is of the opinion that children should be introduced to the game at their early age so when they come of age to represent their locality they will be easy to manage for maximum efficiency.
Furthermore, he urges appropriate school authorities to include boxing as a game during school inter-house sports and University games, he concluded by saying,“So long the head guide will be worn, safety will be guaranteed.”
Fatai Balogun an indigene of Lagos Island in EtiOsa, Local Government started his boxing career at the national Stadium under the auspices of Alhaji, though he was never given an opportunity to prove himself hence, he proceeded to Youngstar academy, Mushin, where he was nurtured and given wings to fly like a butterfly and sting like bee. Two of his siblings are also intothe game while three of his children have also pitched their tents with the boxing ring.
He said: “I’ve done a lot of pairing with Henry Akinwande, Joshua was able to attain his enviable height due to the environment he found himself, Olanrewaju was my equal.If I can be given an opportunity I will soar higher.”
He has won 13 medals in boxing while 4 medals in Kick Boxing, he ventured into boxing since 1998 and ever since has succeeded in keeping his head afloat in the arena, Fatai told our reporter that Lagos State Government has little or no interest in developing boxing in Mushin, he urges the sport minister through the sport ministryto help with training facilitiesto enhance the boxing fecundity of feather weight boxers within Mushin and its environ and also to purgenepotismin selecting qualified candidate to represent state in boxing competitions, he recalled how he was dropped on few occasions due to god-fatherism of another boxer who was not up to his standard.
Pa Asimiyu who migrated to Lagos from Ibadan in 1972 is also an encyclopedia in Mushin’s narratives, he said: “Mushin has produced and housed great men some are alive while some are dead, King Sunny Ade, Late Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Late Baba Sala, Late Orlando Owo, Late Sunny T. Adesokan, too many more to mention all grew up in Mushin and they were successful in life, but sometimes when you mention Mushin, people assume everyone in Mushin are touts, funny enough gangsters’ and touting is everywhere, gone are the days of touting in Mushin, the youths are more responsible than what they use to be, therefore, I want government to look inward to see the positive side of Mushin youths who need to be assisted to attain their goal in life.” He stated.
Wahab Abidoye and Gabriel Kachukwu
Wahab a young lad (on Blue jersey) who graduated from Muslim Mission Primary school to Muslim Mission Junior High School, in Mushin is currently a JSS 1 student who had just picked up the boxing gloves two months ago exhibited so much confidence in attacking his opponent Gabriel Kachukwu.Wahab like many other young boxers in Youngstars Boxing Academy had already made up his mind to climb the ladder of world boxing champion he has a vision of making the boxing game a means of livelihood.
Gabriel (on Red jersey) a brilliant chap from Delta State, son of Osita Kachukwu is an extraction of Igbuzor, in Oshimili North Local Government area precisely, he is a JSS 1 student of Eko Junior Boys’ High School, while fielding punches from his opponent, Wahab, displays defensive gallantry which shows that he will go places if nurtured and given the necessary attention he needed to progress in his chosen game.