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CELEBRITY BOXING MATCH: Fight With Portable Was Manipulated – Charles Okocha

Portable

Nollywood actor, Charles Okocha, talks about his recent defeat to street-pop artist, Habeeb Badmus, aka Portable in a high-profile celebrity boxing clash, his desire for a rematch, his love for combat sports and more.

What do you make of your recent defeat to Portable in a celebrity boxing match-up?

It was manipulated for Portable to win. He didn’t fight the entire rounds as we should have, they also didn’t make adequate preparations for the fight and the organisers are not happy with the result of the event. First of all, the ring was not good, the whole ring was slippery, they didn’t clean it well after previous bouts. That was why in the first round, when Portable rushed at me and tried to hit my head, I slipped and fell while trying to avoid him. But in the second round, I had the upper hand, and even until the third round, I still had the upper hand. It was after that he took off his boxing gloves and said he was not fighting anymore. You know how Portable is. So, I was expecting that he would be disqualified because why would you take off your gloves in the middle of a fight? That should be a disqualification, but then, even if they didn’t disqualify him for that, since it is an exhibition fight, I don’t think he should have been declared the winner. I think a draw would have been fairer if it wasn’t me winning. Somebody says he is not fighting, and yet he was announced the winner. I was very disappointed.

What do you want to be done differently if Portable accepts a rematch?

The organisers of the fight are coming for the rematch and this time it will be arranged much better. This one, everybody will see the real result, and the real champion will emerge after the fight. All hands will be on deck this time around. The organisers are coming down to Nigeria and this time, it will hold at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.

How did you train before the fight with Portable?

I did not do any type of training at all, I can’t be training to fight Portable. I don’t have to train to beat him. This is not someone who is a boxer or bigger than me, he is not someone I have to train to fight. There was a time he was gasping for breath and if I had rushed him, he would have gone down. But I wanted to be a sportsman and so I didn’t rush him. So, we are trying to be more professional for the second fight, why would a boxer remove his gloves before the end of the round? That result was disappointing.

Did Portable spring any surprise during the fight?

He did not surprise me in any way, he is still the same person I expected to knock out and I am sure I will. I want to beat Portable, I really want to beat him because of all he has been saying, and I know I can. There was nothing new or surprising about him, he was gasping for breath after just three rounds and I was still ready to go. He is not a boxer or athlete or someone who even trains well, if that fight was fair, I should have won.

What do you expect from the rematch?

I still stick to what I said before we even entered the ring. I am going to knock him out, I was being careful not to hurt him too much in the first fight, but now nothing at all like that. I am going to take advantage of my strengths and his weaknesses and win the rematch.

It is rumoured that you both fought because Portable accused you of a N40m ripoff. Is that true?

That is not true at all, he is just talking as he always does. I did not scam him of any money, Portable just likes drama, this is just one of those things that people say before a fight to fuel controversy. We got an offer from the organisers due to the social media hype and we accepted, that was all. It was just business, we don’t have issues.

Are you a boxing fan?

I have always loved boxing and even tried boxing since I was very little, but then, my parents were not in support of it, and one or two things came up that did not let me pursue boxing. But I have always loved the sport and now I have gotten an opportunity to go into the ring and I am glad.

Would you fancy your kids going into sports?

My son is already into sports, he is a footballer, and very soon, he is going to an academy overseas. He really loves football. I don’t want to train him in a Nigerian academy, so, he is going to Europe to train there.

What is your favourite sport aside boxing?

I know you will expect me to say football because that is what most Nigerians love, but I never really fancied football, I don’t watch it and don’t really watch Super Eagles either. For me, give me the combat sports, MMA, boxing, those are the sports I enjoy. I like MMA a lot and I try to watch it whenever I can.

Who is your favourite Nigerian athlete?

Well, I know the glory days seem over because he is on a break now, but I really love Israel Adesanya, he is my kind of guy, flashy, and always delivers. He is great at what he does, and I am sure if he returns, he will reclaim his titles. I also like Kamaru Usman, even though he is going through a difficult spell too right now.