FEATURE: Baby Jet Promotions-Gameboy split, who benefits?

BY: Bernard Neequaye

The announcement by Baby Jet Promotions of their contract termination with boxer Emmanuel ‘Gameboy’ Tagoe caught my eye. It was not to say I didn’t expect it but the timing surprised me.

I have been shocked because I expected this split in 2018 when Tagoe signed a promotional deal with DiBella Entertainment.

At the time, I felt it was wrong to announce a new promotional deal when he already had a similar contract with Baby Jet Promotions. Nothing happened so I believed the deal could have been secured by his local promoters.

This is where it shocks me to note that two years after signing with Lou DiBella, the Baby Jet Promotions came out with a letter of abrogation relieving Tagoe of his contract.

Is that to say they knew nothing about their boxer’s contracts with DiBella Entertainment and advisor Peter Kahn? If that is the case, why are they now coming out with a statement to terminate Tagoe’s contract?

These are all unanswered questions that need to be unravelled with time. I also wondered why Baby Jet Promotions decided to issue a communiqué with less than a year to the expiry of their contract with Tagoe.

Even though the content of the letter didn’t say anything about misunderstanding between the boxer and his handlers, everything shows that there has been a rift between the pair.

Baby Jet’s loss

As managers and promoters of Tagoe, Baby Jet Promotions in my view helped raise the boxer’s stake throughout their three years together.

They managed to secure Tagoe an International Boxing Organisation (IBO) world lightweight title, a World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa and Global belts as well as an International Boxing Federation (IBF) international title during their time together.

This I believe is one of the best achievements of any boxing syndicate in Ghana in recent times. For a local promotional outfit to be able to bring former WBO world lightweight champion Paulus Moses to fight his fighter is worth celebrating.

All these championships cost Baby Jet Promotions a lot of money to put together and I believe in their pain but like it’s always said, not all investments bring returns.

Despite being efficient in Ghana, Baby Jet Promotions failed to secure Tagoe world championship fights abroad and that I believe did not go down well with the aging Tagoe.

Every boxer wants to become a ring star and be headlining events in the US where boxing thrives. Unfortunately, they failed to secure him that and I’m convinced that informed Tagoe’s decision to sign with Lou DiBella.

But I believe deciding to relocate to the US to fight there shouldn’t be a problem if there could be an amicable agreement for Baby Jet to recoup some of his investment.

It is however unclear whether that was done. There have been several instances when the defunct Ringcraft Promotions joined forces with Don King to promote Ghana greats Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey and Nana Yaw Konadu during their heyday.

In recent times, Isaac Dogboe’s Rising Star African Promotions teamed up with Top Rank to make him a world champion and Richard Commey’s Streetwise Management joined forces with DiBella Entertainment to get the Ghanaian boxer on Top Rank cards.

These were all arrangements made to ensure all parties make something from the boxer and I will be surprised if Baby Jet Promotions and DiBella Entertainment failed to agree on anything like that.

Tagoe’s benefit

I won’t fault Tagoe for deciding to be ambitious by signing with DiBella Entertainment. He was only expressing what he wanted to achieve from the sport before his retirement.

The only problem could be the mode of agreement. In life, we sometimes disagree to agree on the things we feel would be in our interest.

I don’t want to be quick to judge in this matter because details were not given as to what led to the termination of Tagoe’s contract by Baby Jet Promotions.

All I can say is that his decision is gradually yielding results following his fight in Florida last August which was put together by DiBella Entertainment.

It is evident that many African fighters would want to associate with a promoter of Lou DiBella stature considering his achievements in the sport over the years and Tagoe is no exception.

In all these, I pray the separation brings no bad blood between the two parties as they seek their different endeavours. I wish them well!!!