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Tue, Sep

GBA, Agbeko should hold their punches!

There seems to be bad blood between some promoters of professional boxing, on one hand, and the administrators of the sport, on the other, which is not healthy for Ghana boxing.

Specifically, the current impasse between Joseph ‘King Kong’ Agbeko’s promotional outfit, dubbed Fresh King Entertainment (FKP), and the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA), if not quickly nipped in the bud, will be hurting the promotional and developmental spirit of the sport.

That Agbeko has contributed to the advancement of boxing in the country, as a practitioner from the amateur ranks to the professional ranks, where he became world champion twice as a bantam, cannot be over-emphasised.

It is the reason we continue to adore him and will support every effort at encouraging him in any endeavour in furtherance of his ambition to raise boxing standards in the country.

We believe the GBA, led by Lawyer Peter Zwennes, must have been moved by a similar spirit to sustain Agbeko’s interest in the sport in his new capacity as a promoter, hence its tolerance in accommodating the promotional syndicate, in spite of the alleged financial indebtedness to the regulatory body.

As we carried in our Mid-week Edition last Wednesday, a scheduled international bout that would have seen Agbeko himself in action against a Kenyan opponent, named Nick Otieno, failed to come off last week because Otieno failed to arrive in the country, forcing the promoters to reschedule the fight for today’s week, July 14.

But, ostensibly, had Otieno even arrived last week, the fight would still not have taken place because Lawyer Zwennes and his men had sworn thunder and lightning not to allow it to happen.

The reason? Because officially the regulators had not sanctioned the fight due to the promotional syndicate’s indebtedness, which had remained outstanding for four years since it started business.

Not only that. According to the GBA, it also found out from the Kenya Boxing Authority (KBA), rather shockingly, that there was no contractual agreement by the promoters for the fight between Otieno and Agbeko.

That, certainly, must be serious, and for the generally cool-mannered Zwennes to describe such a development as fraudulent and the modus operandi of Agbeko and his promotional outfit should mean next week’s rescheduled bout could be in jeopardy.

Indeed, the GBA seems to be in no mood to sanction the bout if the sanction fees and contractual agreements are not honoured, even though the promoters claim to the contrary that they are not indebted to the GBA.

Therefore, we want to appeal to the GBA to soften its stance in the handling of this issue with one of its own actors in the fistic sport who appears determined to extend the frontiers of professional boxing to the promotional stage.

We think it is a good thing to encourage retiring boxers who have the means to continue to invest in the sport through efforts such as the one being followed by Agbeko and nothing should be done to frustrate him, as it were.

However, it will be pathetic when it turns out that the GBA, in its bid to open its doors wide to welcome all promotional bodies, including ones founded by some of our ex-boxers, has to recoil because of abuse of its terms.

We hope the GBA and FKP will find a common, favourable and acceptable ground for the Agbeko-Otieno bout to be staged in the country, even if it will mean postponing it to another date.