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FEATURE: Theophilus Tetteh’s predicament, so many lessons at stake

BY: Bernard Neequaye
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Theophilus Tetteh left the shores of Ghana with the intention of snatching the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Africa super bantamweight title but his scheduled fight with Ayabonga Sonjica was cancelled.

The much-anticipated bout was cancelled hours to the event with reports claiming Tetteh was found to have a medical condition which prevents him from mounting the ring.

The news came as a bad one for the boxer and Ghanaians as a whole and I hope it won’t turn out to be a ‘marfia’ work by the promoters to prevent the fight from taking place.

Such machinations by managers and promoters continue to dominate boxing and I pray it was not one of those excuses to stop the fight.

I find it difficult to accept the basis on which the bout was called off just hours to the fight because it is just weird.

This is because, Tetteh has spent a week in South Africa to be well-conditioned for the fight and promoters failed to unravel his medical condition until hours to the fight?

It is ridiculous and I call on his managers not to take this matter lightly to prevent promoters from maltreating foreign boxers who come to their country to fight.

However, I believe Tetteh will have a lot of questions to answer should his medical condition turn out to be true upon his return to Ghana.

Negligence

Yes, I will want him to run a test in Ghana to confirm the supposed medical condition that ruled his fight with Sonjica out.

And should the medical condition turn out to be positive, Tetteh must be blamed for his own woes.

Does that mean he travelled to South Africa for the fight without a medical check in Ghana? If he did, how come the ‘supposed’ medical condition was not noticed in Ghana?

Medical check-ups by boxers must be a frequent routine because of the nature of the sport. In our case, it’s usually neglected by fighters whenever they don’t have a fight coming up.

I can say without any fear that aside the medicals done by the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) for boxers during fights, most fighters do not take their personal health serious in Ghana.

It is a canker that needs to be fixed in Ghana and I think the GBA can lead that charge to end this negligence.

Fighters must be mandated to present frequent medical reports on their health to the GBA for scrutiny and that will make them take that aspect of their boxing life seriously.

International bouts

I am yet to enquire about the GBA’s statutes on medical reports but I will suggest that frequent tests by fighters should be the basis of issuing release letters to boxers for international bouts.

It must be mandatory to guide these fighters to live a healthy lifestyle. Until the laws are enforced, our fighters will continue to be medically indiscipline.

In this era of COVID-19, our boxers must be vigilant with their movements in order to contract the deadly virus which could affect their careers.

In all these, Ghanaian boxers must learn lessons from Tetteh’s predicament. I’m not confirming the reports from the promoters until we hear from either sides but I think this should serve as warning to all boxers from Ghana when traveling for international bouts.

My only worry now is what becomes of Tetteh in South Africa after the fight was called off. It is going to be a difficult situation for him after all the efforts he had put in towards this bout.

Is he coming home with a financial reward or coming back empty-handed. I don’t know the agreement in the fight contract but all I can say is that we continue to learn from our mistakes in this life.

He must return home and do the needful by running tests to confirm the medical condition. If it turns out to be false, he and his managers can take legal actions against the promoters of the bout.