Elizabeth Oshoba: From Ota Village to Glory in Copenhagen

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Elizabeth Oshoba, World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver featherweight belt
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wins Silver featherweight belt. 

In a remarkable journey from Ota to Copenhagen, Elizabeth Oshoba secured her first world title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver featherweight belt, last month.

This victory not only marked a personal triumph for the 24-year-old boxer but also served as inspiration for aspiring female boxers in Nigeria, following in the footsteps of her role model, Clarissa Shields.

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Oshoba’s achievement came with a tenth-round victory over Italy’s Michela Braga in Copenhagen, Denmark. This historic win makes her the first Nigerian woman, after Helen Joseph, to clinch a major boxing title.

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With seven consecutive wins, including a fourth career knockout, Elizabeth Oshoba not only extended her professional record but also handed Braga her first defeat as a professional.

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Clarissa Shields, Oshoba’s boxing inspiration, is renowned as the greatest female boxer presently, holding the undisputed middleweight champion title and securing back-to-back Olympic gold medals. Oshoba expressed her admiration for Shields, stating, “I like how she boxes. She has worked very hard to get to the top. I want to be a world champion just like her one day.”

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Similar to Shields, Oshoba’s journey into boxing began through familial influence, as her father introduced her to the sport. Despite initial hesitations due to fears of injuries, witnessing other young girls practicing ignited her passion for boxing.

Elizabeth Oshoba boxing Story

“I started boxing 11-12 years ago, I was about 13 years old when I started boxing,” Oshoba shared.

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My brother introduced me to boxing, he came back home one evening and told me he saw a boxing gym in our local area at Tigbo Ilu Ilogbo, Ota area in Ogun State and he saw some girls like my age there practicing and told me he would like me to join as well.

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Her journey from skepticism to success is a testament to her resilience and determination. Elizabeth Oshoba acknowledged the challenging times she faced, including hunger and long journeys, but these difficulties fueled her hunger to be the best. Regular participation in the Monthly Saturday Boxing Show hosted by Lagos State, coupled with an invitation from the National Boxing team handlers, including Coach Anthony Konyegwachie, paved the way for her ascent in the boxing world.

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Upon achieving this historic feat, the interim President of the Nigeria Boxing Federation, Azania Omo-Agege, praised Oshoba for her exceptional accomplishment. He expressed, “I am not surprised that Oshoba became a champion; she has always been one and I have always regarded her as a champion too. I was very happy when I saw that she claimed the WBC silver title.”

In her reflections, Oshoba also credited the contributions of Edith Ogoke-Agu and Helen Joseph in shaping female boxers in Nigeria. Edith Ogoke-Agu made history as the first woman to represent Nigeria at an international sporting event, winning a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Helen Joseph, a prominent figure in Nigerian boxing, has been a source of inspiration for young female boxers.

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While Elizabeth Oshoba is currently on a training tour in England, she highlighted the challenges faced by boxers in Nigeria, citing the lack of proper training facilities as a significant hurdle. Despite these difficulties, she remains steadfast in her commitment to inspiring young girls in the country.

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Elizabeth Oshoba’s journey from Ota to Copenhagen is not just a personal triumph but a beacon of inspiration for aspiring athletes, showcasing the resilience and determination required to overcome obstacles in pursuit of greatness.

 

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