James Oyebola was a Nigerian-British heavyweight boxer who won a bronze medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in the super heavyweight division. He was the British heavyweight champion from 1994 to 1996. Though born in Lagos on June 10, 1961, he reportedly grew up in Paddington, UK.
As an amateur boxer, he won the ABA Super Heavyweight Championship in 1986 and in 1987 after he defeated Gary McGory by RSC (Referee stops contest) on May 8, 1986 and John Shakespeare by a points decision (PTS) on May 1, 1987.
He held a professional record of 18 wins in 23 bout of which 16 was by way of Knockout. His last fight was a defeat to Julius Francis in the BBBofC Southern Area Heavyweight title in 1996.
In 2007, the UK government imposed a ban on smoking in all enclosed work places across England.
Three weeks after the ban on smoking, Oyebola was at a bar when a staff was asking four customers in the rear courtyard to put out their cigarettes to observe the recently imposed smoking ban. The Ex-boxer intervened, and an argument ensued, he was shot in the back of the neck and leg by one of the customers, one Kanyanya Mulenga who was later convicted and sentenced to 28 years in prison.
The 46-year-old was survived by his wife, Malin Bergstrom and two children.