Sydney-based Nigerian professional boxer, Nestor Bolum, has revealed that he had to summon courage to step into the ring for his World Boxing Federation (WBF) Australasian title fight against Liam Pope in Sydney, on Friday, after he received the sad news of the demise of his mentor, Jeremiah Okorodudu.
“I heard the sad news of Jerry’s death during my weigh-in,” Bolum told The Guardian, yesterday. “But I had to summon courage to step into the ring. It was so sad we lost Jerry at this stage. He did so much for Nigeria’s boxing and he was like a father to some of us. We will miss him,” he said.
The 10-round WBF contest against homeboy, Liam Pope, did not go Bolum’s way following what he described as ‘daylight robbery’ by the ringside judges.
“The entire world saw that I won the fight, but I was robbed badly by the judges. The fans saw it and they were not happy with their decision to award the title to Pope. But as a professional boxer, I had to accept it because there is another day,” he stated.
Despite losing the WBF title fight on Friday, Bolum was carried shoulder high by the fans round the boxing hall. To majority of the Australian fans, the Nigerian won the Australian Featherweight title belt clearly, but lost out due to politics of boxing.
Bolum, who relocated to Sydney in 2015, was originally scheduled to fight Tyler Billzard, but he pulled out of the contest for Liam Pope to step in. The Delta State-born Nestor Bolum represented Nigeria at Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
After his comeback victory against another Australian boxer, Luke Martin, in Sydney last year, Bolum is being celebrated as a knockout specialist in Australia.