According to Ibrahim Satatima, a former professor in Bayero University Kano, the start of boxing in Nigeria dates back to the early 1940s when Dambe boxing was discovered in kano State, the northern part of Nigeria but professional boxing as we know it today, took flight during the year 1947 with the directives of Billy Moore, a retired boxer, and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who directed the affair of boxing during the initial stage of establishment.
Nigerian boxers soon started gaining global recognition and laurels as early as 1950s and also in the 1970’s when Dele Jonathan defeated one of the best world’s champions by name, Scotland’s Jim Watt, for the Commonwealth Lightweight Title.
Boxing did so well in Nigeria during this era, that it could boast of three world champions namely; Dick Tiger – middleweight, 1962-1963, Hogan “Kid” Bassey – featherweight, 1957-1959 and Bash Ali (resident in Massachusetts) – cruiserweight, 1987.
However, there was a significant crumble…
Source: Complete Sports