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Posted by By JOE EFFIONG, Uyo on 2008/03/18 | Views: 771 |


The current WBC heavyweight boxing champion, Samuel Peter, may now be pummeling all the Americans and Russians to submission, but he never liked fighting in his youthful days.

• How we fasted and prayed for Peter’s victory –Uncle

The current WBC heavyweight boxing champion, Samuel Peter, may now be pummeling all the Americans and Russians to submission, but he never liked fighting in his youthful days.

That is what Chief Godwin Johnson Akpan, the uncle in whose house he grew up at Ikot Akpan Ediene village, in Ediene Ikot Obio Imo Community, Uyo Local Government Area, told Daily Sun.

Chief Akpan, who also revealed how the entire Ediene Ikot Obio Imo went into dry fasting last Saturday asking God to give their son victory, disclosed how they became afraid when Makaev stepped into the ring.

“When we looked at how the man dressed, we were afraid and said well, God is there. But when the man put off all those big dresses and big cap, and we saw him physically, the entire village shouted that it would be a knock-out for Peter. Some people even said before the fifth round, Makaev would be knocked out,” he said.

The elated Chief Akpan, who led Daily Sun to Peter’s family compound, the site of the proposed Samuel O. Peter Boxing Academy and even the new building Samuel is constructing, said though the current WBO was not warlike, in his childhood, he, however, showed the stuff he was made of when he (Akpan) wanted to build a mud house in the village.

“Right from his youth, he would not talk; he would not fight; he would be very quite. He was good at everything. He is a wonderful boy. The only time I started to learn that he has power was when I packed home from Calabar to build a little mud house here. He was the one that dug a big pit like this. I started to dig the pit but he told me; ‘No, uncle, I will do it.’ And within a twinkle of an eye, he had finished the job and I was surprised that he was more powerful than me.

“By then he was in secondary school because after primary school at Calabar, he had come back to Uyo to attend technical school here in Uyo. This is where he grew up.”
Akpan, however, played down the squabbles, which occurred between Samuel and his in-laws where the police came in to arrest one of the in-laws that allegedly threatened the champion with a gun.
“We know about in-laws here because we have three things in Ibibio land namely, in-laws, grandchildren and kinsmen.

These are three sets of people we hold very dear. We don’t joke with these people because there is a law guiding any dealings with them. Once you’re our in-law, we don’t joke with you.”
He then explained that since Peter’s wife had given birth to children, it would be unnecessary to cause separation between the couple rather both families were making effort to ensure that the problem is amicably solved possibly during Samuel’s expected visit to Nigeria.

The Akwa Ibom State Police Commissioner, Mr. Mike Zuokumor, however, said that Peter’s in-law had been charged to court in Uyo though he could not disclose which of the courts and whether the person had been granted bail. He insisted that the suspect was no longer with the police.
On the home front, Peter appears to be planning big for his people. Apart from the multi-million dollar boxing academy for which construction the community has generously donated more than 40 hectares of land, the palatial house he is building for his father, is a thing of joy. Akpan says the boxer would soon come to his immediate and extended families’ financial rescue.

“We didn’t want to disturb him when he was climbing the boxing ladder. And he has promised us that all will be well with us. We strongly believe him that he will not let us down,” he said.
Maybe, he has no reason to give his people, who observed dry fast, praying for his victory; who have given him the increasingly scarce land in Uyo for the boxing academy; and who have named the major road running through the community after him, any technical knock-out. Apart from his personal effort, state and federal governments’ attention to the community would really establish it as the hometown of the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.

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