By Harrison Arubu
New York, Aug. 3, 2019
The Nigerian Consul General in New York, Benayaogha Okoyen, says he is excited by U.S.-based Nigerian boxer, Helen Joseph’s, victory in a recognition bout at the weekend.
Joseph defeated Edina Kiss, a Hungarian by unanimous decision in the Super Bantamweight championship fight hosted by the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the encounter was a morale-boosting comeback for the WBF, IBF, and GBU title holder, who had not competed since June 2018.
The one-year hiatus, according to her, was due to lack of promotion and sponsorship, in addition to unwillingness by opponents to face her for fear of losing.
Nicknamed the “Iron Lady”, Joseph told NAN in New York on Monday that the opportunity for the bout with Kiss came by chance.
“Kiss was originally scheduled to fight someone else, but the opponent withdrew, leaving a vacuum that no one else was prepared to fill.
“So, when they approached me just two weeks ago and asked if I was ready to take the fight, I quickly jumped at the opportunity”, she said.
Saturday’s victory has further boosted Joseph’s impressive 21-fight record of 16 wins, including 10 knockouts; two draws, and three “unjust” defeats.
Speaking to NAN also in New York, Okoyen said besides being a morale booster, the victory would greatly enhance Joseph’s quest for recognition.
“This is the recognition she has been looking for; an opportunity to announce herself to the public.
“I congratulate her and expect that she will keep the flag flying in her next fights.
“The consulate will continue to encourage her to ensure that she keeps making her country proud,” Okoyen said.
NAN reports that Joseph’s next bout has been tentatively slated for August 29 in Connecticut with an opponent not yet determined.
With no promoter or sponsor yet to bankroll the fight, she has to raise 10,000 dollars within the next two weeks to get a challenger.
“I am pleading with members of the Nigerian community to support me by buying the ticket to watch the fight.
“The organisers have told me they would give me an opponent if I can sell 10,000 dollars worth of tickets within the next two weeks,” she said.