Elizabeth Oshoba has not only secured her place in the spotlight but has added a glorious chapter to the narrative of Nigerian women conquering new frontiers in the world of sports.
By Emmanuel Okoro
Nigeria’s sporting scene has always been filled with women who have consistently shattered records, clinched prestigious titles, and left an indelible mark on the global stage. Some of these dazzling stars – including Super Falcons attacker, Asisat Oshoala’s six-time conquest as CAF’s African Women’s Player of the Year, Tobi Amusan’s reign as the current world record holder in the 100m hurdles, and Ese Brume’s triumph as an Olympic and World Championship medalist in the long jump – all stand as a testament to the indomitable spirit of Nigerian female athletes. However, the narrative extends far beyond the green grass of football fields or the tracks of the sprinting arenas.
Combat sports, with its unforgiving physicality, has found its heroine in the form of Elizabeth Oshoba, who is Nigeria’s first female boxer to secure a World Boxing Council (WBC) title. Her defining moment unfolded when she defeated Italy’s Michela Braga in the Silver Featherweight contest at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark. Oshoba has not only secured her place in the spotlight, but has added a glorious chapter to the narrative of Nigerian women conquering new frontiers in the world of sports. What do we know about this trailblazer who has punched her way into the record books?
A Rising Star
Born in 1999, Oshoba’s ascent in boxing has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. Oshoba showcased her mettle at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, clinching a silver medal in the Women’s Over 54kg-57kg Featherweight category for her efforts. The path to the medal included victories over formidable opponents like New Zealand’s Erin Walsh in the Round of 16, Trinidad and Tobago’s Tianna Guy in the Quarter-finals, and Australia’s Tina Rahimi in the Semi-finals. However, a roadblock in the form of Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh halted her pursuit of gold. In addition to her stint at the Commonwealth Games, Oshoba is also a three-time national gold champion and African Games’ bronze medalist, bringing her total amateur record to five wins and two losses.
Flawless Transition to the Pros
Undeterred by the setback from the Commonwealth Games, Oshoba transitioned to the professional arena, marking the beginning of a flawless career with seven wins – four of which were resounding knockouts. Her global conquest continued, with notable victories over Italian Nadia Flalhi and a points victory against Kirsty Hill. Oshoba’s international success hit a fevered pitch when she claimed the International Boxing Organisation’s Female Super-Featherweight title after defeating Italy’s Martina Righi in Wilshire, United Kingdom – by a unanimous decision.
WBC’s Silver Featherweight Title
Perhaps her biggest victory yet was when she faced off with Italy’s Michaela Braga for the WBC Silver Featherweight championship title. Oshoba not only handed Braga her first-ever professional defeat but also extended her record to seven straight wins. The bout was particularly marked by a knockout in the tenth round, setting the stage for a victory celebrated by Nigerians, and by extension, Africans.
Oshoba’s prowess hasn’t gone unnoticed, as she is currently ranked number one in Nigeria and 12th globally among Super-Featherweights, according to the boxing ranking platform, BoxRec.
Oshoba’s professional career, adorned with titles from the International Boxing Organisation and the World Boxing Council, positions her as the torchbearer for Nigerian women’s combat sports. But much more than that, these successes make her an inspiration for aspiring women who see boxing as a viable and successful career path.
Emmanuel ‘Waziri’ Okoro is a content writer and journo with an insatiable knack for music and pop culture. When he’s not writing, you will find him arguing why Arsenal FC is the best football club in the multiverse. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads: @BughiLorde