Boxing


Sam Peter Should Not Be Written Off, Says Nigerian Coach Jerry Okorodudu

by James Slater - Though he is undoubtedly in the minority, Nigerian boxing coach and former Olympian Jerry Okorodudu says his countryman and former WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter should not be written off just yet. As fight fans know, Peter was a big disappointment in his title fight defence against the returning Vitali Klitschko last month - quitting on his stool after 8 rounds..

And though many fans all but gave up on "The Nigerian Nightmare" after his poor showing, Okorodudu has not. Speaking with This Day on-line, the trainer and former boxer gave Peter his verbal support.

"Peter should not be written off yet," Okorodudu began. "He failed in his title defence against Klitschko because he did not do what his trainer asked him to do. If he did, he would not have given so much room to the Ukrainian to pummel him the way he did. If Peter had dug in and not allowed him room for those punches to come through, perhaps, the story would have been different."

Okorodudu may have a point, but the fact that Klitschko boxed a prefect fight cannot be taken away from him. Basically, "Dr Iron Fist" was just too big, too strong, too powerful and too good for Peter. And, no matter what tactics the 28-year-old had adapted, most fans would agree it wasn't going to be his night. His only chance coming by way of the 37-year-old suffering from ring-rust, Peter saw to his dismay that Klitschko had none at all.

Okorodudu continued speaking about Peter, and he also spoke about Don King - who he is no fan of.

"Despite failing, the best thing to happen to Sam Peter is leaving Don King," Okorodudu said. "That man does not have the interest of anyone at his heart but that of himself alone. He is the current master at the " Use and Dump" strategy. He did that with Mike Tyson and our own Ike Ibeabuchi, who is still serving a jail term over a phantom rape charge. I said it from day one that Don King was not the best for Peter. Both father and son (Carl King) are just reaping off innocent boxers like Peter. For instance, in a really serious situation, how could Don King be the promoter of the boxer while his son is the manager."

Though King may have his faults, it's going a bit far to blame him for Ibeabuchi's current incarceration. Okorodudu believes Ike would have been the best heavyweight fighter to have ever come out of his country had he not been jailed.

"I am sure of this because when I was in the US, everyone that followed his career agreed that he [Ibeabuchi] had the strength and skill to rule the world," the trainer said. "But because of the way and manner he was handled, which messed up his career, he has been sent into the land of irrelevance."

Ibeabuchi would likely have become a world champion, agreed. Now it's up to Sam Peter to see to it that he doesn't vanish as quickly as Ike did.

Article posted on 13.11.2008



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