FEATURE: A year for Duke Micah’s world title dream?

Author: Bernard Neequaye

He is ripe, strong and ready to beat the world after years of hard work and determination but Ghana’s Duke Micah must take the opportunity of becoming a world champion when it comes.

It has been a long road for the bantamweight contender from his days at the amateurs to participating in the 2012 Olympic Games before turning professional that same year. He has the chance to conquer the world if only he will take the opportunity when it avails itself hopefully this year.

Micah has seen his rise in the division hindered when he battled a promotional contract tussle with Real Deal Promotions in 2018, which led to over a year of inactivity in the ring but through all these, he forced his way back with two great wins in 2019.

His victorious comeback wins over Luis Suarez Cruz and Janiel Rivera last year proved his tenacity and never-give-up attitude which translates to his lion’s heart whenever he mounts the ring.

Looking at his progress and performances in the ring, one would ask why it has taken him to much time to realise his dream of adding his name to Ghana’s rich list of world champions. The truth is that it has never been easy for any African boxer to break into the world stage and his several other compatriots have had to go through similar fate.

Micah’s long-time friend and training partner, Richard Commey, had to wait eight years before winning a world title after losing his maiden opportunity in 2016 against Robert Easter Jnr. Yes, Commey held on to his hopes and beliefs to clinch the IBF lightweight crown before losing it out to Teofimo Lopez last December.

Isaac Dogboe provides the motivation Micah needs to conquer the world after winning the title in his first attempt against Jessie Magdaleno in 2018. Having this blend of self-belief in his first attempt and long-awaited chance could propel him to win a world title even if it is going to take him a long time.

Super flyweight division

The 28-year-old decided to move down to super flyweight in his last fight against Janiel Rivera in which he won a unanimous decision and it seems to me the opportunities there are very bright.

I am confident that he will secure himself a world title shot before the end of the year in either the super flyweight or bantamweight division. What he must do is to continue working hard because becoming a world champion doesn’t come that cheap.

Being under promotional outfit Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), he will have the opportunities to fight regularly as well as make world championship bouts as soon as possible.

My only problem has to do with the recent trend of Ghanaian fighters becoming walkovers at the world championship stage. The likes of Habib Mohammed, Rafael Mensah, Maxwell Awuku and Patrick Allotey have in recent times failed to show competitiveness when they had their chances to become world champions.

I trust Micah to take a cue from Dogboe and Commey when he gets the nod at a world tittle, having been training in the USA for a while now.

He has an astute trainer in Andre Rozier to lead him to the promise land after the American coach transformed Commey into a world champion. I don’t see him as a walkover against any opponent. The only thing left for him now is the announcement of his shot.

Time not on side

At his age, he should be fighting at the world stage and winning titles because the demands of the sport are so high that age becomes a factor in determining how far you can go.

It is not too late though because Commey became a champion at 31 years and that gives hope to him but destinies defer. Circumstances are different in both boxers’ careers on their roads to earning huge reputation and until Micah gets his chance, the talk will continue.

One thing that baffles my mind is why a boxer of his calibre still struggles to get a world title shot despite been undefeated in 24 bouts and having held the WBC International bantamweight title in the process.

That’s boxing for you as a sport. In most cases, your road to stardom depends on the clouts of your handlers (promoter and manager) because it is a “mafia” venture for the less privileged.

In this sport, only the strong survives and I call on Micah to make the years of extreme work count by giving the nation another world title when the need arises.