Some Pioneer Wrestlers such as Michael Okpala (Power Mike), Late. Michael Bamidele, Maman Zaria, Ben LionHeart, John Eke Uti (aka Power Uti) among others made the country recognized in the world wrestling through their ceaseless efforts and abilities.
They also laid foundation for upcoming Nigerian Wrestlers.
This Wrestlers actually made names for themselves,and created history that has continued to be a reference upto date.
Later,consider Power Lee and Apollo Crews in brief.
If you guys are ready,....Let's Go.
Mike Okpala, who was later known by his ring name- Power Mike,...
Later in life,he made wrestling a household sport in the country when he clinched the world title in the 70s.
Let's take a look at the life and achievements of this Great Legend, Power Mike.
It was at this primary school that he started building his athletic career by being active in sporting events.
In 1952, After finishing primary school, he left his village for Onitsha, in order to learn how to organise and run a trade business.
On leaving Onitsha, he left for Kano to specialize in the business of buying and selling tyres.
While in Kano State, Power Mike started a Superman Strongman show business which made him popular locally.
His imaginative exhibition in Kano virtually cast a spell on people from various social backgrounds because they were yearning to see him perform.
In 1961, he started a Nationwide tour which took him to Onitsha, Enugu, Aba, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Jos and Kaduna.
In 1967, he traveled to Europe, accompanied by his friend Engr. Onyeso, the Igwe of Nri.
In 1967, He got a one-year contract in Sweden after which he went to Greece.
That was how Power Mike switched and became a wrestler.
When he left Greece, he went back to Britain to compete, and thus he truly started his career as a wrestler.
He wrestled in Madison Square Garden, New York, known as the Mecca of professional wrestling.
also in the same year,
Johnny Kwango also became a victim of Power Mike's when he (Mike) defeated him in Lagos.
This happens to be Power Mike's last fight in the ring.
It is note-worthy to say that, Before his retirement, Power Mike wrestled and defeated alot of notable wrestlers like ;
John Tiger of Canada,
Joseph Kovacs of Hungary,
Derek Withinton of England,
and Jude Harris who he fought in Lagos,
and a host of other notable worldwide superstars.
Apart from Power Mike's professional wrestling prowess, he was also a Promoter of the sport and his Power Mike International Promotions brought foreign wrestlers into the Nigeria Shore. These Wrestlers include The Great Mil Mascaras,..
His Wrestling Promotions Outfit later found the likes of Power Uti.
In 1984,Some of the fights that took place during Powrr Mike's Wrestling Promotion in Lagos, includes :
In March 11th 2004, Michael Okpala (Power Mike) died at the National Hospital, Abuja after a protracted illness.
Chief Michael Okpala retired as undefeated World Heavyweight wrestling champion, so he died as Nigeria's undefeated wrestling champion.
Power Mike was remarkable for the legacies he left behind. He devoted so much for sports, his chosen fields. He not only promoted sports, he used it as a tool to build friendship, brotherliness ...
Most interestingly, he displayed rare spirit of sportsmanship.
He was indeed a unique gem that left his footprints in the sands of time.
May the Soul of this Nigerian Legend continue to Rest in Peace, Amen
John Eke Uti (a.k.a Power Uti) is from Ogbagu Ogume in Delta State, Nigeria.
He was born in 1962, And had his elementary school in his home town in Ogbagu Ogume in Delta.
After his elementary school, Power Uti came down to Lagos State to continue his education.
The presenter eventually gave him a chance to appear on air on the show.
Power Uti said, "after developing his muscles in the unusual way, he found it difficult to put them to regular use despite being anxious to fight.
Then I went to another champion, Tarzan Eze, and told him that I could beat him in a wrestling fight. I meant to upset him, but he did not accept the fight,” says Uti.
Timesman Udo replied Power Mike that, he was like a father to me and that he would kill me in the ring.
I beat Timesman Udo throughout the match, but each time I pinned him to the mat, the referee will be counting slowly until Udo will recover.
Power Uti was eager to make the best of the moment so he went to Apollo to help him in the act of wrestling. He agreed but told him to come to the USA for training.
According to Uti, Power Mike then sent him to Trinidad and Tobago to settle a debt he owed the international wrestling promotion that helped him persuade Mascaras, Igor and others to come to Nigeria.
Power Mike then promised me N9,000 for the fight, which was big money at the time. He said they should drive me to my house.
On match day, Mill Mascaras fought Ben Lion Heart and won because Ben LionHeart had a bad day, and he was booed by the crowd.
Power Mike made so much money from the sale of the tapes.”
The win over Mr. Fuji in Nigeria, then Paved the way for Power Uti's move to the US, where he won the world junior heavyweight title.
Power Uti then defended the title in Nigeria, but recalls that Peter Ruteya, who Promoted the fight, never paid the wrestlers their dues.
But just when he was to be involved in a juicy bout against ...
Ben LionHeart was the Commonwealth champion at the time.
But,I did not want to deal with Power Mike again, but he begged me.
Power Mike then came up with a press release where he stated that Ben LionHeart would not get anything if he lost in the contest.
He refused to promote the fight, but I got Kola Balogun Promotions to go ahead and Promote the fight.
"It was a ploy that worked, as the fight was also called off.
Power Uti says it happened because some American promoters gambled by offering him the chance,...
“The promoters know nothing about the sport but they are after the profit. They put the wrestlers at risk.
“It’s a winner takes all contest because Festus is staking his CWA heavyweight belt. I have a world title belt".
"By the Spirit of God I later discovered I did not need it to excel.
"You can excel without taking drugs, It is just the lie of the devil,’ Power Uti explained.
After going through the case file, Mrs. Folarin-Williams said she did not see anything both in the accused’s statement and in the police investigations to show ..
Jimah Iseghede, the prosecutor told the court that the accused committed the offences on October 10. at No. 17, Oremeji St., Ilupeju, Lagos.
Power Uti was first taken to Ilupeju Police Station before being transferred to the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department for further investigation.
If found guilty, the accused (Power Uti) faces a death sentence.
Barrister Endurance Nkenchor, lawyer to Power Uti said that his client didn't beat his dead wife, and neither did he kill her..
"They also alleged that when she finally died he took the corpse to the hospital and doctors confirm the wife dead, instead of depositing the corpse in the mortuary,
"He was also given a miracle mantle and since he didn't have money,..
initially, Power Uti refused to speak on the death of his wife,However, he later broke his silence while in Prison.
”the fact remains that as a family, we have always enjoyed good health and have never visited ..
Speculations had it that Toyin may have died as a result of domestic violence but Uti said, ” I am a wrestler and I know my capabilities. I never raised my hand to hit my wife.
On the possible cause of her death, Uti said, ” yes we are waiting for the autopsy report and I have no fear about that because I ..
When asked what the secret was, he said. “I will not say it now until when I am finally freed.”