Sunday 8 May 2016

Francis Aiyegbeni, Boxing Promoter Who Owns the Popular D’Rovans Hotel, (now Wallan Hotel) in Ibadan Dies Aged 69

Sport philanthropist and boxing promoter, Chief Francis Aiyegbeni is dead.
Aiyegbeni, who owns the popular D’Rovans hotel, now Wallan Hotel, in Ibadan, was reported dead on Saturday morning at the age of 69.
He  was said to have been rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan on Saturday after he failed to respond to treatment at the Police Hospital, Eleyele, Ibadan, Oyo State

Information gathered reveal that he was  admitted into the Intensive Care Unit, (ICU) of the hospital less than 24 hours before his death.
Tribunesport also learnt that the business mogul had been down with an ailment before he was referred to UCH during the week.

Though, a source informed that the family will not make public announcement until the autopsy report is ready and the larger family members were duly informed.
By Sunday afternoon, a condolence register had been opened in his honour at Wallan Hotel, MKO Abiola Way Ring Road, Ibadan as well as  his house.

Aiyegbeni, a former boxer and prominent boxing promoter in his lifetime sponsored several bouts of Bash Ali, and notably his world title fight in 1996 against Ralf Rocchigiani in Germany.
He was also instrumental to hosting many national title fights at D’Rovans Hotel, Ibadan while he also promoted a national heavyweight title fight between silver Olympic medallist, Richard Igbinegbu and Abbey Adewale, a.k.a Tiger.
In addition, for decades and till date, Chief Aiyegbeni hosted annual dinner of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Oyo State chapter, in one of the halls inside his hotel free of charge.

Confirming the sad development, the secretary general of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C) Remi Aboderin said Nigeria has lost a great personality, adding that the boxing family will miss Ayegbeni a lot.
“It is on fortunate that we have lost him at this time when we need him the most,” he started. “I can tell you Francis Aiyegbeni gave so much for the development of boxing in Nigeria and it is so unfortunate we have lost him.
“Yes, Nigeria will miss him as a whole, but the boxing community will feel his absence a lot.”
Late Aiyegbeni passed-on aged 69 and is survived by wives, many children and grandchildren.

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