Nigeria’s Olympic Boxer, Jerry Okorodudu, is dead, hospital seizes corpse over debt

Nigerian Olympic boxer Jerry Okorodudu has passed away at a Lagos hospital while awaiting amputation surgery. The hospital is refusing to release his body until an outstanding debt of N600,000 is paid.

According to Eniola Olatunji of Patmos Media Line, Jerry Okorodudu died on Wednesday around 7 pm at a Lagos hospital where he was awaiting amputation surgery. The hospital authorities have stated that they will not release Okorodudu’s body until the outstanding debt of N600,000 is settled.

Olatunji further explained that Okorodudu’s family is distressed, and his widow, Adenike Okorodudu, is devastated by the situation. As of Wednesday morning, only N900,000 had been paid towards the hospital bill. Pleas for support from Okorodudu’s home states of Delta and Edo were met with administrative bottlenecks, as they awaited formal letters before offering assistance. The only contribution received thus far was N100,000 from former Deputy Senate President, Senator Omo-Agege, who lost the Delta Gubernatorial election. This brought the total deposited to the hospital account to N600,000 on Wednesday morning.

Segun Olanrewaju, one of the coordinators of SAVE JERRY FUNDS, stated that the hospital management has adamantly refused any plea for clemency and is withholding Okorodudu’s body. Olanrewaju also mentioned that Okorodudu’s colleagues abroad have been urging patience before providing financial assistance.

It has been learned that if the funds were available, the surgery to amputate Okorodudu’s leg would have taken place by noon on Thursday. An anonymous medical doctor stated that Jerry would have survived if the originally scheduled leg amputation had been carried out last Saturday.

Jerry Okorodudu, 64 years old (born on May 24, 1959), had been at Dan’s Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, for two years with partial stroke, diabetes, and a foot ulcer requiring amputation.

Jerry, as he was known in boxing circles, won a bronze medal at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia. He was controversially eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 1984 Olympic Games in Vigil Hills on a split decision. The Nigerian camp vehemently protested the decision. The 1984 Olympics also saw Nigerian boxer Peter Konyegwachie win a silver medal in the Featherweight category, and the Nigerian 4×400 Relay Men won a bronze.

Jerry achieved a gold medal at the National Sports Festival, Oluyole ’79. He had 83 amateur fights and 40 professional boxing bouts, with 21 international professional fights between 1986 and 1992, according to BOXING RECORD, a publication on world pugilists.

Two memorable bouts in Nigeria were with Joe Lasisi. In the first fight at the National Stadium on July 28, 1985, Jerry had to retire in the second round due to a broken right arm. In the second bout on December 16, 1988, at the National Stadium in Lagos, both boxers weighed 172 pounds, and Okorodudu claimed he was thumbed by Joe Lasisi, but the scorecard favored Lasisi with 68-65, 67-66, and 66-67.

Jerry mentioned that he was inspired to go into boxing during his secondary school days in Benin City, Nigeria, by the brilliance of Muhammad Ali, whom he never had the opportunity to meet.

For those who wish to reach out to Jerry’s wife, Adenike, they can contact her at +2348084200018 or send their contributions to his bank account: Jeremiah Okor