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postheadericon Between samuel peters and the nigerian press

Between Samuel Peters and the Nigerian Press

It is no longer news that Samuel Peters who to me and every understanding Nigerian who believes that the Boxer is not finished has fallen to Vitali Klitschco in what has officially become the sole affair of the Nigerian newspapers, but what has particularly become worrisome to the Boxing world is that the Nigerian print media has found no news more juicy than the fall of Samuel Peters.

Peters (31-2, 23 KOs) remains to me a good Boxer no matter what the Nigerian newspapers causes us to believe to the contrary with all those gory pictures displayed by them appearing like a gang up against one of their own. I consider this very unfortunate and sympathetic because an idea such as this is aimed at rubbishing the name of the Boxer even as tongues in the streets are wagging that Samuel Peters is incapable of fighting even the laziest of the laziest Boxer.

In Boxing, anything could have happened in which case Vitali Klitschco with 35-2 record emerged superior at the end of it all but the Nigerian press was caught napping because it stood aloof, obviously not in expectation of this because it assumed Peters to be invincible. No international Boxer of great standing excepting Rocky Marciano escaped defeat in their entire career in the ring, not even Mike Tyson, Mohammed Ali, Larry Holmes, sugar Leonard and sugar Robinson, yet we all know how Marciano using cleverness avoided the ring and fighting his 50th fight thus ending up in his private restaurant at his prime in order to avoid defeat while Larry Holmes was also cleverly robbed what would have equaled the record of marciano. Have you seen anything like that?

If compared with the number of victories won by George Foreman, Mohammed Ali, Mike Tyson and others Rocky Marciano with only 49 victories has the least victories with the only thing standing between them being defeat at some time or the other. Today, Marciano is being celebrated in Italy and America. Already, our own Samuel Peters has won 29 fights at a tender age still counting, having once won the world Boxing Council title, and a glory to Nigerians and Africans. Defeat is the portion of any Boxer and sportsmen and women in general, we cannot pretend about it and what happened to Peters was not strange but what is rather strange is inability to rise again when defeated after losses. We have seen Boxers do it in the past and optimistically Peters can do it. I hope I am not the only one who still believes in him.

My two quarrels with the Nigerian press are firstly, the gory and disheartening pictures of the fight between Peters and klitschco and various articles and editorials put up by our pressmen in condemnation of Peters as if his career has abruptly come to an end. I have since lost count of the number of people I have rightly convinced that irrespective of the pictures published by our press that Peters can fight back to glory. All of these are happening while his WBC title won and lost is still being celebrated in far away places like Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Cuba etc. Has anyone from any of these countries done it before?

The caption “Beaten and battered like a thief” which appeared on the back page of Sunday Sun, Sunday 26, 2008 is nothing tome but emotionally traumatizing to those of us the youths, an aim to shoot the Boxer and bring his career to an end and an affront to many Nigerians who knows what it could cost a Blackman from the African continent to win a title in Boxing. The Nigerian press should have rather than resort to negative publicity of the match our man lost because he could not continue with it encourage him and the upcoming ones to do better next time.

Secondly, the Nigerian newspapers constantly referred to him as “Akwa Ibom Born Nigerian” which seems to me unnecessary and a waste of words in seeking to achieve nothing. I am yet to hear Lennox Lewis, Hasim Rahman, James Douglas and even Azuma Nelson referred to as California, Los Angeles, London and Ashanti born Americans or Ghanaian. We hear this only from the Nigerian press which seeks to tribally distinguish a Nigerian of Delta State extraction from Niger State. What does Akwa Ibom State mean to the World when it is a known fact to them that Peters is simply a Nigerian?

I also recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria in its typical approach took only little interest in the affairs of the Boxer when it was clear that the Boxer was about putting the image of the country in the Boxing map of the world, leaving it all to the Akwa Ibom State Government. Even when he won the WBC title no Nigerian flag capable of gloriously wrapping up Peters was readily available to him instead the type found in “Molues” and “Danfos” was shamefully handed to him and I shut my eyes firmly.

The Nigerian press rather than describe Samuel Peters as a beaten and battered like a thief Boxer which he never was should engage the Government of Nigeria in a brawl and force it to rebuild and renew the interest of our youths in sports and Boxing in this way we can produce admirable champions who are capable of beating and battering other Boxers like thieves, or do the Nigerian press not know that governments of other countries promote boxing fights and matches which in the first place was one good factor Bashiru Ali of Nigeria suffered.

Samuel Peters was defeated like any other Boxer who fell to their opponents but was never beaten and battered like a thief. Mike Awoyinfa of the The Sun Newspaper, take note!

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