Bombers trainer defends record despite criticism

BY: Kwame Larweh
Kwasi Ofori Asare
Kwasi Ofori Asare

The trainer of the Black Bombers Kwasi Ofori Asare has strongly defended his credentials as the nation’s top amateur boxing coach, saying results at last year’s Olympic Games was a vindication of his impact on the national team.

Coach Asare led the Bombers to break Ghana’s medal drought at the Olympics when Samuel Takyi won a bronze medal in the flyweight division – the first medal at sports biggest global gathering since the Black Meteors won bronze at the 1992 Games in Barcelona and Ghana’s first medal in boxing since middleweight Prince Amartey won bronze at the 1972 Games in Munich.

According to the experienced trainer, he did his best with Takyi and trained him to the best standards of the profession.

His comment follows recent criticisms from former world champion Ike Quartey that the coach lacked the capacity to lead the national team because he had not imparted a lot of knowledge in Takyi, who is currently coached as a professional by Quartey.

According to the former IBF welterweight champion, as Takyi’s trainer since the beginning of the year, he realised the boxer lacked some basic techniques which he should not lack as an Olympic medallist.

“I have no confidence in Coach Asare; he is not a complete coach. It was when I started training Takyi that I realised that Coach Asare had done nothing on him.

“Coach Asare trained Takyi and took him to the Olympics, but I found many faults with the boxer who I’m currently managing and I realised he didn’t get the basics right.

“This should not be so for an Olympian, a bronze medallist for that matter,” Quartey lamented in an interview with the Graphic Sports.

The retired boxer turned trainer explained that when a boxer got the basics wrong as an amateur, he would be exposed in the ring when fighting in the professional ranks.

“If you start school as a child you will be thought A,B,C, D, up to Z and you will grow with it. So, as a young adult if you forget this and you are reminded you quickly go back to it. But in Takyi’s case he doesn’t know them at all,” he noted.

For the national trainer, Quartey’s criticisms were unfair and unjustified because he [Asare] was not Takyi’s personal coach and only trained the youngster when he qualified to be part of the national team

“I am not a perfect trainer and neither is Takyi a perfect boxer. There may be lapses in his [Takyi] skills, just like the great Floyd Mayweather and Ike Quartey himself, but I trained him to win a bronze medal.”

Quartey said there were good boxing trainers in the country who, when given the opportunity, would do better than Coach Asare.
He, therefore, called on the Ghana Boxing Federation to give equal opportunities to all amateur boxing trainers in the country to prove what they could also do with the Black Bombers.