The boxing community has poured in tributes for late Nigerian coach Jeremiah ‘Jerry’ Okorodudu, who died at the age of 64 at a private hospital in Lagos on Wednesday.

Okorodudu represented Nigeria at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, where he competed in the middleweight category.

He was a gold medallist for former Bendel State at the Oluyole 1979 National Sports Festival in Ibadan.

The hospital had initially refused to release Okorodudu’s corpse to his family following an unpaid balance of N600,000, before a WhatsApp group Family United By Sports paid the bills.

Godwin Enakhena, the coordinator of the group, said FUBS raised the money needed for the release of the corpse within minutes of hearing the news of his death.

“We were supposed to raise the money for the operation, but we got the information too late and it’s quite unfortunate,” he told The PUNCH.

“When we heard that he died yesterday (Wednesday) night, we quickly raised the money needed within five minutes and we paid the sum of N600,000 directly into the hospital’s account number for the release of his corpse to his wife,” Enakhena said.

Technical Assistant to the NBF Babatunde Laguda paid tributes to the late boxing icon.

“He is a great loss to the boxing world. He has tried; he contributed as a boxer and as a coach. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

The Vice President, Nigeria Boxing Federation, Azania Omo-Agege, stated, “First of all, we deeply regret the passing of one of our own, Jeremiah Okorodudu.

“All of us are actually really distraught about the passing of Jerry.”

The Africa Boxing Confederation Vice President told The PUNCH of their plans to aid the family in giving Okorodudu a worthy burial.

“We reached out to the wife of our ex-champ, and she has told us that they are working on the burial arrangements. So, once the burial arrangements have been confirmed, then I can assure you that the NBF would do everything to give him a befitting burial.”

The President, Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Rafiu Ladipo, also lauded the fallen ex-pugilist.

“As a professional boxer, he did so well for himself and his country.

“We will pay the family a visit and do whatever is necessary to help them,” Ladipo told The PUNCH.

President, West Africa Boxing Union, Remi Aboderin, added, “It is unfortunate that he died this way, and I am actually lost for words. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

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