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FEATURE: What is the direction of Ghana boxing?

BY: Bernard Neequaye

Since Isaac Dogboe and Richard Commey lost their world titles, it’s been difficult having real contenders for championships and I don’t think it’s good for the development of Ghana boxing.

The trend has been a ‘trying’ one for most of the fighters that got the chance to fight for the title.

Patrick Allotey and Duke Micah both fought for the world championship but performed abysmally in their maiden outings.

A feat that doesn’t speak well of the country’s history in the fistic sport. For instance, Allotey survived only four rounds against Jaime Munguia in September 2019 and Micah was dispatched in two rounds by John Riel Casimero.

Both fights were world championships that could have salvaged their careers even if they had lost with their heads up high.

It was as if they were some preys that were brought by promoters for their fighters to devour. That didn’t speak well of the sport in the country.

This raises so many questions among stakeholders because the shambolic performances of Ghanaian at the world stage must be stopped.

What are the reasons for such below par performances? Is it a matter of not having the real talents for the big stages?

I doubt that because Dogboe and Commey proved in recent times that Ghana still has what it takes to conquer the world.

In my view, we need to answer the reasons for such poor performances and come back stronger. That will inform our decisions on how to tackle the problems identified.



Grooming

In our part of the world, we lack the infrastructure to nurture talents when identified.

From the legendary Azumah Nelson to the Ike Quarteys of old, so many investments were made into making them great.

At the time, Ringcraft Promotions had the financial clout to build their careers by sending them abroad to build on their crafts.

Those training tours helped them a lot and made them complete. Do we see that now with our current crop of boxers?

I don’t think so. All fighters of today care about is to break into the world ratings so they can pick at a point to challenge for the title and make money.

That is the focus now. Even most of the promoters are only interested in securing championships for their boxers so they can take their percentages.

Nothing from them shows that they are looking at producing world champions and the earlier we have a change of mind the better for the future of the sport.

All these start from grooming. It is a process which must be followed by both boxers and promoters to be able to achieve success.



Preparations

Most of the fighters that go into these world championships are rushed into them with the only motivation being financial gains.

Some of these boxers accept the fights on a short notice and fails to have a proper preparation before going into the bout.

For example, Allotey’s fight with Munguia was announced three weeks to the bout. Quickly, he had to start preparing in Ghana without any proper infrastructure.

It was obvious he was only going for the pay check right from the signing of the contract. Yes, I understand that opportunities when presented must be taken but a determined boxer could have avoided it and work towards earning another at the right time.

Micah’s case was the same because he was given the nod to challenge Casimero out of the blues. The notice came less than a month to the bout and his performance showed how unprepared he was.

Going forward, the narrative must change. The basis for accepting fight must not only focus on the monetary aspect but the quest to make history.

That is the only way to change the direction of boxing in Ghana!