Nigerian boxer Rasheed Idowu expressed his joy after finally receiving his Universal Boxing Organisation (UBO) African light-heavyweight belt on Wednesday. The belt came following a contentious bout in Accra, Ghana, which was later overturned in Idowu’s favor.

During the fight, Idowu dominated his Ghanaian opponent Bastie Samie, sending him to the canvas twice within two rounds. Despite Idowu’s clear superiority, Ghanaian officials initially declared the fight a draw. However, the UBO later reversed the decision in favor of the Nigerian boxer.

The UBO belt was delivered to Nigeria by the Ghana Boxing Authority on April 17, four days after the bout. It was presented to the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBBofC) chairman in Lagos, but it took 13 more days for Idowu to receive the belt in person.

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Receiving the belt at the NBBofC office in Surulere, Lagos, on Wednesday, the 25-year-old boxer expressed his immense joy. “I’m so happy and grateful to God, and I want to thank my manager Mrs. Edna Aiyegbeni. This belt means a lot to me; it’s a significant achievement in my career, and it has garnered me more fans worldwide,” Idowu said.

He continued, “This victory assures me that my future in boxing is bright, and I’m committed to training hard to defend my belt and maintain my status.”

The controversial bout took place on April 13 at the Decathlon Kawukudi Park in Accra. Despite knocking out his opponent, Idowu was shocked when the fight was announced as a technical draw. Videos of the fight circulated online, prompting outrage among boxing fans and calls for justice.

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Idowu recounted his confusion upon hearing the decision. “When I heard them announce that the fight was a draw, I was so confused because I had never seen such in my life. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

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The NBBofC immediately took action, posting the fight footage on social media and sending a protest letter to the UBO. Two days later, the UBO declared Idowu the winner, stating that there were no illegal blows from him.

Commenting on the decision, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, chairman of the NBBofC, said, “It’s a thing of joy that the injustice meted out to our boxer was corrected by the boxing body, and the true champion presented with his belt.”

Idowu expressed his gratitude to the NBBofC for their support. “I really want to thank the NBBofC for their efforts to correct what happened to me in Ghana. Once I got to Nigeria, I felt their love even before the UBO changed the result of my fight,” he said.

Plans are underway to present Idowu to the Governors of his home state, Osun, and neighboring Oyo, as well as traditional rulers, for their blessings and support.

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