September 30, 2022

Remains of ex-Commonwealth boxing champion, Fatai Ayinla, buried in Ibadan

October 14, 2016
Wives and children of fomer Commonwealth boxing champion , Fatai Ayinla, during his burial at their residence in Ibadan, on Thursday. Inset: The remains of Ayinla being lowered into the grave. PHOTO: NURUDEEN ALIMI

The remains of former national, African and Commonwealth boxing champion, Fatai Ayinla, were laid to rest on Thursday at his residence in the Soka area of Ibadan at exactly 4:26pm.

The two-time Olympian, 77, died on Wednesday during illness.

In his sermon, the Chief Imam of Challenge Central mosque, Ibadan, Alhaji Musa Kolawole Najeemdeen, who described death as inevitable urged all to be good to one another.

Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Barrister Abayomi Oke; acting General Manager, Oyo State Sports Council, Adegboyega Makinde; former Nigeria table tennis star, Alhaji Waheed Ekun and former coach of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), Mr Niyi Akande, among others were at the burial to pay tributes to the late boxing star.

Ayinla started his boxing career in the early 1960s with the Western State Sports Council. After emerging the national champion, he won silver medal for Nigeria at the 1966 Commonwealth Games held in Kingston, Jamaica in the light heavyweight class.

He also featured at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico where he made it to the quarter-finals.

Ayinla won gold medal for Nigeria at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland and also featured at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

After moving to the heavyweight division, Ayinla clinched the gold at the second All-Africa Games held in 1973 in Lagos, Nigeria, while he won the silver at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand.

He also won a bronze medal for Africa at the World Boxing Championship held in Havana, Cuba in 1974 in the heavyweight category.

He retired from the Oyo State Sports Council on November 5, 1998 as Director Sports and Training.

Ayinla, it will be recalled, was among the coaches who accompanied Bash Ali to Germany for his cruiserweight title fight with home boy Ralf Rochigianni in 1996, which the native won by points.

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