FEATURE: What happened to the Bukom Fist of Fury?

Author: Bernard Neequaye

It is a new year, with so many boxing activities ahead of us but I think the sanctioning bodies keep neglecting the base of the sport.

Last year was filled with ups and downs in the sport just like 2018 when Ghana recorded a world champion only to lose the title before the year ended, and I believe as a country, we need a different approach in order to attain more success in the sport.

For some time now, little or no money is invested into the activities of boxing by government right from the juvenile level to the professional fold which is killing the sport because the only antidote to having strong and competitive professional boxers is by investing in the amateur ranks.

Yes, Ghana can only have another golden generation of boxers if it invests a lot in the junior ranks by offering the amateur fighters the chance to have more fights before they turn professional.

The boxing league, popularly known as ‘Bukom Fist of Fury,’ which was put together by the Ghana Amateur Boxing Federation (GABF) and the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) has failed to produce its intended target due to inconsistencies in the organisation of the league.

It is struggling financially to meet the demands of paying for the Bukom Boxing Arena as well as boxers who participate on a weekly basis.

I remember during the launch of the ‘Bukom Fist of Fury’ when the brainchild of the rejuvenation of the league, Moses Foh-Amoaning, blatantly stated that the boxing league was back to give hope to the sport following years of inactivity.

I shared in his view at the time but I am sorry to state that months after the commencement of the league, nothing significant has popped up.

We are yet to have a new boxing revelation since the league began whilst boxers can’t even fight regularly as they were promised but I don’t think the problem lies with the organisers because they are having financial constraints.

No support

Where is the government’s input or assistance in this noble idea of giving hope to young and upcoming fighters who need this platform to announce themselves?

I thought the Ministry of Youth and Sports was supposed to invest in all sporting disciplines and not only a particular sport.

If that is the case, then I still find it difficult to believe why the boxing league has been neglected by the ministry entrusted by law for the development of sport in the country.

Is it to say that what we only celebrate as a country is success but neglect the necessary ingredients that necessitate the triumph?

For sometime now, boxers are left to their fate to struggle to make it themselves, a situation which allows fighters to turn professionals without much experience at the amateur ranks.

As a country, we have a responsibility to shun the habit of neglecting this young and talented fighters who can earn the nation so many laurels both at amateur and professional levels with the right investment.

In doing this, the only option is to groom the next generation through the amateur ranks by giving the platform to compete, and I believe the Bukom Fist of Fury when taken seriously can solve that problem.

Amateur empowerment

In the United States of America and Mexico, fighters usually have over 50 amateur bouts to their credit before joining the professional ranks which provide them with much experience.

During this period, fighters compete at national competitions as well as world championships and the Olympic Games which prepare them adequately at the professional stage.

Over here, a fighter turns professional without the exposure of competing at a world championship of the Olympics which makes it difficult for them to attain higher heights.

They usually turn journeymen along their careers or sparring partners when they fail to make it in their respective professional divisions.

With the year just a week old, I want to call on all boxing stakeholders, especially the GABF and GBA as well as the government to come together to champion the cause of unearthing and nurturing future world champions.

As I bow out, I pray the Bukom Fist of Fury is taken seriously to make the dream of producing more world champions in the future a reality.