By Keith Idec
This one wasn’t a scripted scrap.
Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo, one of the two men actor Jussie Smollett reportedly paid to carry out a staged attack on him in January, won the 178-pound, novice-division title Friday night at the Chicago Golden Gloves tournament. The Chicago Tribune reported over the weekend that Osundairo won his bout by first-round technical knockout.
The novice division is for fighters that enter the Golden Gloves tournament with less than 10 amateur matches on their records. Winners in the novice division do not advance to the national Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, either.
Osundairo, a Nigerian immigrant, and his brother, Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, reportedly were paid $3,500 by Smollett to assault him and place a noose around his neck. Smollett, who plays a supporting role on the hit FOX drama “Empire,” has denied that he set up the attack with the Osundairo brothers, both of whom worked as extras on that show.
Smollett allegedly instructed them to not hurt him too bad in a staged incident that Smollett reported as a racially motivated, homophobic attack. The 36-year-old Smollett, a Chicago resident, is black and gay.
Chicago police arrested the Osundairo brothers February 13 for their roles in the hoax, which drew international attention. They eventually were released, but Smollett was charged with faking the crime.
Prosecutors later dropped the charges because they contended there wasn’t sufficient evidence to secure a conviction against Smollett. The Chicago Police Department since has sued Smollett for $130,000 in damages because he refused to reimburse the city the amount of money in resources required to investigate the fake attack.
Once Chicago investigators determined the attack was fraudulent, Smollett’s attorneys agreed for him to forfeit $10,000 in bail money and agreed for him to perform community as part of an arrangement to have the charges against him dropped.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.