Nigerian street-pop artist, Habeeb Badmus, aka Portable, has rejected Nollywood actor, Charles Okocha’s call for a rematch refusing to hand over the belt, Prestige News Online reports.
Okocha was defeated by Portable in a Heritage Boxing Entertainment celebrity bout on Tuesday night at Landmark Beach, Oniru, near Victoria Island, Lagos. Following four rounds of action, Portable was declared the winner by the referee.
Okocha described their boxing bout as rigged, saying that Portable removed his boxing gloves in the third round, an action that should have led to immediate disqualification.
The two were engaged in an online feud over an alleged N40m rip-off. Portable claimed that Okocha cheated him out of the money and only sent him a small amount.
This sparked a fight, during which they agreed to settle their differences physically and both scheduled their boxing match for Boxing Day immediately after Christmas with HBE sanctioning the title for the fight.
In the aftermath of the bout, Okocha took to his Instagram page to call out the referee for irregularities, alleging that Portable removed his boxing gloves during the third round, which should have resulted in immediate disqualification.
“How can you give up in the third round when we have four rounds? How do you take off your gloves in the third round, leading to total disqualification when the fight hasn’t ended?
“Y’all know this was rigged, with an incompetent referee who knows nothing about boxing rules. Nevertheless, we move on. Rematch coming soon,” he wrote.
In response, Portable released multiple videos on Friday vehemently opposing Okocha’s demands, expressing reluctance to fight him, and instead directing him to two-time world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua.
“You want another beating? You that weigh more than I do, I beat you and collected money and belt. First round I beat you, second round I beat you, third round and fourth round, I beat you. Go and fight another person, if you want to fight, go and call Anothy Joshua, I am not dropping this belt,” Portable said.
Meanwhile, the interim president of the Nigerian Boxing Federation, Azania Omo-Agege, reacted to the fight between the Nigerian superstars hailing the duo for promoting boxing in Nigeria.
He maintained that NBF would consider going into partnership with them to make them Ambassadors of the boxing profession in Nigeria.
“Let me say I am so happy to see two Nigerian superstars take to the boxing ring in a celebrated boxing fight. I am very happy with the exposure they have given to boxing by that singular act.
“NBF will look for a way we can enter into discussion with them to explore the opportunity of making them ambassadors of boxing in Nigeria. Because we believe that their identification with boxing has a very great potential to pull many Nigerian youths out of the streets to join the boxing trade,” he said.
The Africa Boxing Confederation VP also praised the organisers saying, “I also want to thank the organizers of the celebrity boxing event. What they did has gone a long way in promoting boxing in Nigeria.
“These are the kinds of things we are talking about. If people are seizing the initiative to do things in this country like they have done then it will not be hard for us to develop sports in Nigeria. With time, we would meet with them to see how we can do more things for Nigerian Boxing.”