Veteran Nigerian boxing official Dr Joseph Ayeni is a man full of gratitude.

After more than 30 years of service dedicated to developing the sport in Africa, he retired last year as a member of the International Boxing Association board with a plan to see off his sunset years quietly at home.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans. In April, the unexpected happened after Dr Ayeni was hospitalized after suffering a stroke.

He was treated twice in Nigeria but upon attending a function in Istanbul, IBA president Umar Kremlev could see that Dr Ayeni was not back to full health and decided he needed further examination.

And as promised, Dr Ayeni was later flown to one of the best hospitals in Russia dealing with stroke and associated conditions where received what he described as top-notch care. Here, he not only underwent treatment but received rehabilitation services.

Now Dr Ayeni is completely healthy, full of life and is, most importantly, back at home with his family.

While Mr Kremlev didn’t ask for this story to be publicized, Dr believes that all good deeds shouldn’t stay hidden.

“I really believe that the IBA is a family. Every person is precious, even after retirement. I am grateful to fate that all has happened this way. Umar takes his place worthily, and he really is a man of his word. Thank you, my good friend, for giving me more days of my life! Thanks to the entire IBA boxing family for taking care of older generations,” Dr Ayeni said.

Boxing is, indeed, a family!

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