FEATURE: If I were the handler of “Gyatabi”........

Author: Bernard Neequaye

I want to first take the opportunity to congratulate the handlers of Ghana’s World Boxing Organisation’s (WBO’s) Global super bantamweight titlist, Wasiru “Gyatabi” Mohammed, for securing him a defence of his title on January 31 after seven months of inactivity.

It is important that I praise the hardworking team of Gyatabi which is being led by Manager John Manfo and Technical Advisor Yoofi Boham for how far they have brought his professional career.

Hosting boxing events in Ghana is not a profit-making venture due to the lack of extensive patronage from enthusiasts. Even those who want to be at the fight want it for free and the turn of events has led to the collapse of many promotional outfits in the country.

Over here, promoting a boxer to attain greater heights in the future by becoming a world champion needs sustainable financial clouts to survive because it is like running a charity without any interest.

Inasmuch as it is a great achievement to train a boxer from his home to attain international recognition, you can only recoup all your investments when he starts mounting world championship platforms.

The last time I checked, it cost close to $100,000 to stage recognised title fights that would secure your fighter a shot at a world title. The financial package consists of purses of boxers, sanctioning fees, airfares, refereeing and the organisation of the event.

Despite all these investments, the boxer needs to be victorious in order to give his management the chance to retrieve their investments when he makes his world championship bow. But the question is, what happens if he loses the eliminator that could propel him to get that nod?



Gyatabi must win

I always say that the only motivation to a determined manager and promoter is for the fighter to keep winning impressively and convincingly. This is very important because it offers him the confidence to continue investing until his boxer reaches the climax.

With this same scenario, I want to urge Gyatabi on to ensure a successful defence of his crown which will move him ahead in the next ratings by the WBO from his current 11th position.

I trust him to deliver following series of mouthwatering performances in his previous fights. He should go into the bout knowing that a win could secure him a world title shot by close of year, something he has longed for all his career.

Being undefeated in 11 fights with 10 knockouts, he is yet to face the best of oppositions in the division and must avoid losing his belt at this stage against John Amuzu on January 31 in Accra which can affect his chances of becoming a world champion anytime soon.

I remember Obodai Sai’s unfortunate loss to Tanzania’s Walter Kautondokwa at home in 2016 when his managers had invested so much in him to host and win the then IBF Continental Africa and WBO Africa Middleweight titles.

The loss did not only affect Sai’s career but led to his management losing faith in him and walking out of their contract. It was a bad thing to do on the part of his handlers because defeats are part of the sport, but looking at the financial constraints, the only antidote was to win to make your managers’ investments worth it.

I don’t want to see Gyatabi suffer a similar fate and all he has to do is to come in and win convincingly for the betterment of his career and future endeavours in the sport.

Relocate to USA

Watching Gyatabi’s career closely, he is finding it difficult to get opponents on the continent to fight and that could derail his fighting ability if it continues that way. Inactivity in boxing makes boxers rust, as well as deprives them of making the needed progress in their careers.

If I were the handler of this talented young fighter in Gyatabi, I would consider signing him to a renowned promotional outfit in the United States of America and relocate him there to build his career.

This to me will bring the best out of him because over there in the States, there are facilities and well-conditioning coaches who will work on him to get to the top. The most important thing in a boxer’s career is getting fights and over there, he is assured of that.

Signing him to promotional outfits such as Top Rank, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), Golden Boy Promotions and DiBella Entertainment among others will not only bring the best out of him but give him the needed platform to market his craft, which is important in his rise.

Let me note that the likes of legendary Azumah Nelson, Ike “Bazooka” Quartey, Nana Yaw Konadu, Joshua Clottey, Joseph Agbeko, Isaac Dogboe and Richard Commey who all won world titles for Ghana relocated to the United States of America (USA) to improve their careers.

Recently, Emmanuel “Gameboy” Tagoe, Habib Mohammed, Rafael Mensah, Frederick Lawson, Duke Micah and Richard Harrison Lartey have all moved to USA for career enhancements and I believe Gyatabi needs that at this stage of his career.

His handlers must ensure this if they really want the best for him, and I believe it will pay off with the right people around him abroad. All he needs over there will be to train and have enough rest without any form of distraction like it happens here in Ghana.

Before I bow out of this episode, I want to call on John Manfo and Yoofi Boham to put everything in place for him to move to USA immediately after his bout with John Amuzu before he wastes his gifted and talented boxing career here in Ghana.

A word to a wise..........